All of us have at one point in life heard that meditation is good for health, that’s for sure. What’s also sure is that the above fact is truer than anyone of us can fathom. What many believe is that meditation was an art derived directly from Gods. Putting aside the mythological reasons and stories behind it, at the end of the day, it IS good for health on levels we can never understand. There are so many benefits of meditation that it is quite hard for us to cover them all! But let us list few, which will definitely prove to be handy.
Health Benefits of Meditation:
1. Decreases Depression
While we may not exactly know how meditation works in reducing depression, we do know for sure that it does the work quite magically. What I personally believe is that while a person is busy meditating, he tends to go through everything that is going on his life without second thoughts. We come up with alternatives for the problem which would obviously make us feel relaxed, subsequently reducing the chances of depression. Due to the many benefits of meditation, you can also reduce depression in ‘mothers to be’.
2. Regulates Mood And Anxiety Disorders
Just like as in the case of depression, meditation also helps regulate mood and anxiety disorders. The more peaceful your thoughts and meditation, the more chances of you getting rid of anxiety and mood changes. Since meditation removes all negative thoughts from your mind, it gives you a chance to forget them as well.
3. Reduces Symptoms Of Panic Disorder
American journal of psychiatry released a journal in which a research was conducted on twenty-two patients suffering from panic disorder. They were put through three months of rigorous meditation after which twenty of twenty-two were cured of the disorder.
4. Increased Gray Matter In The Brain
This is by far one of the best benefits of meditation! An experiment was conducted on sixteen students of Harvard where they were put through eight months of practice, after which a subsequent rise in the gray matter of their brain was found. This gray matter is responsible for learning and memory control, regulating emotions, sense of self, and having a good perspective. This is great for students/ growing children!
5. Decreases Need Of Sleep
This is as simple as it sounds, the longer you meditate, the less will you feel the necessity of sleeping. As you meditate, you relax which helps reduce both your mental as well as physical tiredness.
6. Improves Focus, Attention And Ability To Work Under Stress
Only twenty minutes of practice a day is enough for students to improve their performance on tests of cognitive skill. In some cases, it resulted in doing 10 times better than the group that did not meditate. They also performed better on information-processing tasks that were designed to induce deadline stress. In fact, there is evidence that meditators had a thicker prefrontal cortex and right anterior insular. And, also to the effect that meditation might offset the loss of cognitive ability with old age.
7. Improves Decision Making
Long-term meditators have larger amounts of Gyrification (“folding” of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate. Scientists suspect that gyrification is responsible for making the brain better at processing information, making decisions, forming memories and improving attention.
8. Gives Mental Strength And Emotional Intelligence
The process of controlling the mind, through meditation, increases mental strength, resilience, and emotional intelligence. This benefit of meditation is most helpful to those suffering from down-syndrome and illnesses like it.
9. Reduces Pain
Zen meditation (called zazen) practitioners report less pain. Actually, they report less pain than their neurological output from the fMRI indication. So, even though their brain may be receiving the same amount of pain input, in their minds there is actually less pain.
10. Fosters Creativity
The practice of “open monitoring” meditation (non-reactive monitoring the content of experience from moment-to-moment) has positive effects on creativity and divergent thinking.
11. Reduces Blood Pressure
The practice of Zen Meditation also reduces stress and high blood pressure. In a research, 2/3 of high blood pressure patients have shown significant drops in blood pressure after 3 months of meditation, and, consequently, less need for medication. This is because relaxation results in the formation of nitric oxide, which opens up your blood vessels.
12. Reduces Risk Of Heart Diseases
Meditation significantly reduces the risk of mortality and stroke in coronary heart disease patients. These changes are associated with lower blood pressure and psychosocial stress factors.
13. Reduces Risk Of Alzheimer’s
Just thirty minutes of meditation a day not only reduces the sense of loneliness but also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and premature death.
14. Improves Empathy And Positive Relationships
Meditation helps us look at the world in a completely different angle, giving it an entirely new meaning. In such cases, we tend to dwell more in what’s not obvious which gives way to more empathetic and positive feelings.
It is also important to remember that the Benefits Of Meditation and yoga brings faster relief to both mind and body, and is commonly practiced as one.
Also Read: 5 Reasons Why Yoga Rocks !!!