The Benefits Of Daily Meditation: 4 Ways
“I don’t have time.”
“I’m too stressed.”
“There are so many other things I need to do right now, I couldn’t even if I wanted to.”
Regardless of what your reason is for excusing meditation, this simple, short time of self reflection is a practice that has an overwhelming amount of support showing its positive benefits. Meditation is a practice in de-stressing and mental focus that is good for your both your body and mind. Why you should consider implementing mindful meditation into your life? Read on.
According to the Huffington post, research published in the journal Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it’s also linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Another study done at Johns Hopkins showed a relationship between mindfulness meditation and the reduction of depression, anxiety and pain.
“A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing,” Madhav Goyal said. “But that’s not true. Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.”
A study done by Harvard discovered that mindfulness meditation can actually change the structure of the brain, increasing strength in the part of the brain that governs learning and memory, as well as parts of the brain that rule emotional regulation and self-referential processing.
At the same time, there were decreases in the cell volume of the amygdala. This is the part of the brain responsible for fear, anxiety and stress. Overall, participants reported lower stress levels, showing a scientific and feelings-based decrease in stress.
Works, Even When You’re Not
Meditating is a practice that provides your body with benefits even when you aren’t actively practicing it.
A study in the journal, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, shows that the brain response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation. This effect occurs even when a person isn’t actively meditating.
“This is the first time that meditation training has been shown to affect emotional processing in the brain outside of a meditative state,” study researcher Gaëlle Desbordes, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University’s Center for Computation Neuroscience and Neural Technology, said in a statement.
Sleep is extremely important to our overall ability to function at our highest cognitive ability. Meditation is a huge component in encouraging and improving ability to sleep.
According to the Huffington Post, a study done by the University of Utah found that meditation could help participants to control emotions and improve sleep.
“People who reported higher levels of mindfulness described better control over their emotions and behaviors during the day. In addition, higher mindfulness was associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress,” researcher Holly Rau said in a statement.
Positively Affects Health
According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation is a great (supplemental) way to help improve your health. Mayo clinic says that research suggests meditation may help with symptoms of conditions such as:
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sleep problems
- Tension headaches
The American Journal of Health Promotion relays research to show that practicing meditation can lower yearly doctor costs, compared with participants who didn’t practice meditation.
After 1 year, those who practiced meditation saw their physician bills decrease by 11 percent, and 28 percent after 5 years, while the control group showed no significant change in cost.
Meditation could improve your health, and save you some money on the way.
Meditation is a great way to take a beat and clear your mind of past data, your to-do list, and preconceived notions about your work. For a refreshed approach to a task or problem, research shows that meditation is a great practice to get your mind thinking outside-of-the-box.
Research done by the University of showed that mindfulness meditation reduces cognitive rigidity. Through a series of problem solving activities, researchers showed that participants who participated in mindful meditation had a “reduced tendency to overlook novel and adaptive ways of responding due to past experience, both in and out of the clinical setting.”
Some notable companies implement mindfulness meditation because of the obvious increase in creativity it supplied employees. According to Huffington Post, Walt Disney Company was one of the first large companies to implement meditation in the workplace. General Mills is another, with meditations rooms available on site for staff.
The powerful benefits that meditation provides requires a very small investment on the part of the meditator. Meditation is a great way to implement mental and physical wellness into your daily busy life. At Beni.fit, we offer a 21 Day Meditation Challenge, making it easy to start and maintain a meditation practice with a short, daily guided meditation to relax and focus the mind. Take time to implement wellness into your life today. Head to our contact page for a free day of guided meditation; enter “Meditation Preview” in the “What can we help with?” box for an email with a link to a meditation!