By Angela J. Bryant
Meditation is becoming increasingly popular with people of all ages and walks of life. Regular, on-going meditation has been found to provide a range of health and wellbeing benefits, even when it is only practiced for a few minutes each day. From helping to train your mind to think more positively, increase self-awareness and self-esteem, to reducing anxiety, stress and even blood pressure, here are 7 health benefits of meditation.
- Decreases Stress
One of the main reasons why many people turn to mediation is because it has a good reputation for helping to reduce stress. Several studies have demonstrated that individuals suffering from stress-related conditions can find improvement in their symptoms and a reduction in their stress levels after undertaking meditation practices. It’s believed that through meditation techniques, the levels of the stress hormone cortisol are reduced.
- Helps To Reduce Anxiety
There is some evidence to suggest that undergoing regular, ongoing mindfulness meditation can be helpful towards better managing and reducing anxiety. Regular meditation has also been found to help manage a range of phobias and panic disorders, including supporting people suffering from bipolar mood swings. Through ongoing daily practice, meditation can help individuals to develop better overall emotional stability.
- Leads To Improved Sleep
Through the use of meditation techniques many people have found that they can fall asleep more easily.
“Some meditation practices are practiced just prior to sleep as a way to help the body and mind release tension. Additionally, in a study in 2015, people who undertook regular meditation were found to not only fall asleep more quickly, but to also stay asleep for longer and experience better-quality sleep overall,” says Zoe Rodriguez, a blogger at Last Minute Writing and Research Papers UK.
- Supports Improved Cognitive Function
Meditation has also been linked to improved cognitive function, particularly improved concentration and attention span. Even short, regular meditation sessions can help to boost attention. Additionally, meditation is also believed to be helpful in reducing some age-related memory loss issues, particularly in older individuals.
- Helps Reduce Blood Pressure
In a 2015 study into the effects of transcendental meditation on blood pressure, researchers found that volunteers who practiced meditation experienced reduced blood pressure. In particular, these findings were strongest amongst older participants, as well as individuals who had higher blood pressure levels to begin with, as well as women.
“It’s believed that regular meditation can help to lower and control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals which coordinate the “fight-or-flight” response in the body, as well as the heart function and the tension in the blood vessels. Over time, this can help to reduce strain on the heart and arteries, not only leading to lowered blood pressure, but also helping to prevent heart disease,” explains Steven Condon, a health writer at Writinity and Draftbeyond.
- Supports Development Of Self-Awareness
The very act of meditation is designed to encourage self-reflection and help participants to develop a stronger understanding of the self, and therefore, to develop increased self-awareness. In particular, meditation encourages participants to learn how to recognize negative or harmful thoughts and learn how to redirect these. By being more aware of the self, meditation subsequently enables participants to cultivate a more positive mindset, including a greater ability to creatively problem-solve and make positive changes to their overall life.
- Fosters Positive Emotional Health
Similarly to the way in which meditation can be used to improve self-awareness, it can also be used to help foster and promote greater emotional health. Through meditation, individuals have the opportunity to learn techniques and strategies for developing a more positive mindset and overall attitude and outlook to life. Consequently, long-term meditation has been found to help decrease depression in adults. Additionally, it can also lead to improved self-image and increased self-esteem, leading to better mental wellbeing.
One of the biggest reasons for the growing popularity in meditation techniques is not only the range of health benefits that it can provide participants, but also how easily accessible it is. Meditation can be practiced anywhere, at any time. For those who prefer guided sessions, there are a variety of groups and apps available. There are also many different types of meditation available, so you are bound to find one that works best for you.
Angela J. Bryant is an experienced writer and editor at Edinburgh Writing Service and Gum Essays. She specializes in topics related to social media, business and health. Angela’s writing has helped numerous people seeking to improve their wellbeing and lead more positive lifestyles. She is a firm believer in the motto “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” and is dedicated to cultivating a positive outlook on life through meditation.