1. Meditation Reduces Stress.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Meditation gives you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health.”
Many assume that when you meditate, the key is to “clear your mind”, but that’s not exactly true. In fact, when you do meditate, you’ll see that is the opposite of the truth. Your thoughts are going to be running a mile a minute, but the key isn’t to not think at all. It’s to quiet the mind, and focus. Some people may focus on a mantra, and many may focus on their breathing. Either way, meditation (especially if you keep it up) can reduce your stress dramatically. Even Psychology Today, the Art of Living, and the Huffington Post agrees!
2. Meditation Improves Your Memory and Concentration.
Meditation doesn’t just reduce stress and anxiety, but it also improves your memory, your concentration, your ability to multitask, and your ability to think creatively and think outside the box. According to Memory Improvement Tips, “researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston showed that regular meditation causes the brain’s cerebral cortex to thicken” which results in improving your memory and your attention span. So, next time you’re stuck with writer’s block or artist’s block, take a moment to meditate. But if you really want to improve your memory and attention, meditate weekly or even daily.
3. Meditation Encourages a Healthier Lifestyle.
Meditation benefits not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. Plus, when you are meditating, you become self-aware, motivated, and more confident. So if all you need is a little more motivation when it comes to your weight loss, or anything else you are doing, take a little time out of your day to meditate.
4. It Increases Self-Awareness and Acceptance.
When you meditate, you aren’t just clearing your mind. You’re healing it. That means taking away all that negative energy and thoughts, and you’ll find that after you meditate the world seems so much brighter. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true! Of course, it’s not some “magic pill” or anything, but you’ll still see a lot of improvement after just 15-30 minutes of meditating.
5. It Boosts Happiness – and Not Just Yours!
According to Psychology Today, multiple research studies on NCBI, and EOC Institute, meditation helps improve both your social and emotional aspects in life. It can increase social connection and emotional intelligence, make you more compassionate and make you feel less lonely. This is probably because one of the first things a mediator learns when practicing meditation is to stop and witness and observe their own thoughts. They learn to observe every thought that passes through them, and separate them from ‘positive thoughts’ and ‘negative thoughts’ as they choose to let the negative thoughts go. Plus, study shows that meditation improves function of nearly all parts of your brain, but you’ll learn that here soon.
6. Wait For It . . . It SLOWS Aging.
According to the Huffington Post and Somina.com, scientists have “isolated length of telomeres and telomerase as indicators of cellular aging”. The longer the telemere, the more a cell can divide and refresh resulting in it getting shorter in a natural aging process.
However, Telomerase is an enzyme in the body that prevents telomere shortening and can help our body’s cells live for a longer period of time.
In short, in 2013 Elizabeth Hoge, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School led a learning study comparing the telomere length of experienced loving-kindness meditation practitioners with non-mediaters. Results showed that mediators ended up having significantly longer telomeres compared to those who did not meditate and were aging slower than those who do not meditate.
7. It Helps With Your Heart, Immune System, and Decreases Pain and Inflammation.
Meditating weekly, or even 15 minutes daily can improve your health in more ways than one. For example, according to this study here, Meditation can help improve your cardiovascular health no matter if you have heart problems already or not. Plus, according to Chopra.com, and other studies it provides, meditation also can improve your body to fight off disease and illnesses. Plus, Psychology Today shows that mindfulness meditation can boost your health by decreasing pain and inflammation.
8. It Adds More Hours to Your Day and Helps You Get More Sleep.
According to Harvard Health Publications, meditation can help you get more quality sleep. So, if you find yourself feeling fatigued all the time and sleeping 12 hours a day instead of eight, try meditation.
9. It Improves Function of Your Brain.
An article written on Washington Post showed that besides the benefits of meditation such as reducing stress and improving your social life, meditation also can alter your brain – in a good way, of course!
Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where she conducted research studies on how meditation can alter the brain.
“When you’re mindful, you’re paying attention to your breathing, to sounds, to the present moment experience, and shutting cognition down,” Lazar says, “We also found [long-term mediators] had more gray matter in the frontal cortex, which is associated with working memory and executive decision making.”
As we are aging, our cortex shrinks resulting in memory loss. But according to Lazar, “in this one region of the prefrontal cortex, 50-year-old mediators had the same amount of gray matter as 25-year-olds.” Of course, questions started to arise such as, “what if they already had more gray matter before they started meditating?” so they did a second study, which you can learn more about here. But in short, “we found differences in brain volume after eight weeks in five different regions of the brains of the two groups.” Lazar states. She then listed the different regions that were effected, resulting in improving attention, learning, emotional regulation, compassion, empathy, and more. You can read about it on the Washington Post, or watch the documentary “The Connection” which talks about people adding meditation to their healing practices.
10. And Finally… Meditation Improves Metabolism and Can Aid In Your Weight Loss
According to Lisa Johnson Fitness, meditation can help boost your metabolism resulting in weight loss. Of course, meditating once won’t have a dramatic effect, but meditating daily or even weekly for 15 minutes can not only boost your metabolism, but help with mindful eating.