Meditation is an ancient practice, references to which are present throughout history, especially in religious contexts. Although meditation isn’t exactly mainstream today, it is beginning to gain popularity as science has proven that cultivating mindfulness through meditation can have a significant impact on our brain and the way our bodies function.
Meditation offers a myriad of physiological benefits and enhances an individual’s spiritual well-being as well. From improved concentration to stress-reduction, meditation can help you achieve an optimum mental health. As little as 20 minutes, a day of meditation can make people calmer and more relaxed. Enlisted below are seven incredible mental health benefits of meditation, which will inspire you to take up the practice right away.
- Enhanced Concentration
Meditation is effective in enhancing focus and attentiveness. It is the most powerful of all concentration-enhancing techniques, which is related to the increased energy that meditation provides. It connects you with your power source and enhances your ability to focus and multitask. The use of mala beads during meditation neutralizes the energy blockages and increases the benefits of meditation. Intensive meditation not only increases concentration but also helps in sustaining it; improving cognition and focus.
- Stave off Stress
Given our modern lifestyle stress has become alarmingly common these days. It further leads to physical health problems related to heart and also has a tremendous impact on our mental wellness. Recent research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore suggests that meditation can help ease psychological stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. Meditation improves our ability to regulate emotions and as a result empowers us to stave off the negative thoughts that cause stress. Stress reduction is one of the most amazing benefits of meditation as it further helps overcome some physical and mental health problems as well.
- Breaks unhealthy habits
We all find it tough to give up the temptations to eat junk food no matter how well we know of its ill-effects on our health. Same goes for other bad habits like smoking, drinking or a lack of physical exercise. Practicing meditation allows us to detach the emotions associated with an action from the action itself. This enables you to break bad habits. Meditation also encourages a healthy lifestyle. As you become more and more self-aware you tend to want things that are better for you.
- Improves critical thinking and decision making
Meditation can boost your brain power. Various studies suggest that people who engage in mindful meditation tend to have better-working memories. It also improves verbal reasoning and is extremely effective in enhancing the cognitive functions of our brain. Deep breathing during meditation allows us to take more oxygen into our system. This promotes better brain functions. When a person encounters a stressful situation, he can maintain his calm and take better decisions. Meditation not only improves mental health but wellness as well. It changes your perspective and allows you to analyze things and situations critically before making decisions.
- Improves communication with self
Meditation leads to a heightened state of consciousness and enables us to connect with our true self. As you become self-aware, you know what your body, mind, and spirit are craving and what is required to achieve and live a fulfilling life. When you better understand your thought processes, you begin to have more control over what you think, which makes enables you to battle distractions and stresses effectively.
- Emotional Stability
Physical and psychological stresses that we feel are deeply linked with the causes and consequences of our emotional experience. Meditation elevates our mood and promotes positive thinking, which in turn makes us less vulnerable to stresses. According to a study, those who meditate daily are have reduced activity in the amygdala (a region in the temporal lobe of the brain linked to fear and pleasure responses) and therefore they are better at responding to negative stimuli. The findings point towards greater emotional resilience and stress reduction.
- Slows Ageing
Meditation can increase longevity and mental health by protecting the brain and heart from stress-related damages. Studies also show that those who meditate have increased cortical thickness, which plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. Thinning of the cortex of the brain with age is a type of atrophy related to dementia, which can be prevented or at least postponed with the help of meditation. Some studies also suggest that meditation may slow cellular aging as well.
Meditation has been recognized as highly effective for various psychological and physical problems, which are quite common these days. Although, there are many different meditation techniques, but the ultimate benefits from each of them remain the same. All you need to do is practice meditation regularly and have the patience to achieve the desired results.