Benefits of meditation

The effects of meditation are scientifically studied and each one is one more reason to start practicing.

Meditation is a practice that dates back to about 10,000 years ago and is a mental practice that allows you to control your awareness and thoughts.

This simple but profound practice is for anyone as long as you are willing to put in the time needed.

Therefore, the first benefit of meditation is that it provides greater control over your life, which helps you achieve goals and react appropriately to each situation.

Meditation originated in India, more specifically from yoga, and is the last of several other spiritual practices in many of the techniques of yoga.

THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

Among other things, meditation can help to calm and balance your mind and body, which helps to relieve stress, and anxiety, while improving concentration, and awareness.

Stress in general is known to cause disrupted sleep, inflammation, increases blood pressure, and slows the immune system.

When we get stressed, the sympathetic nervous system is activated and this causes a surge of stress hormones that rush into the bloodstream.

These hormones are known to increase the risk of a stroke and heart attack, increase blood sugar levels, suppressed immune system, and constricted blood vessels.

Long-term stress can lead to elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol as well as low energy levels and poor quality of sleep.

With regular practice, the benefits of this practice will unfold before you.

1. REDUCTION IN STRESS, ANXIETY, AND DEPRESSION

A study with 3,500 people carried out at Johns Hopkins University, shows that it is effective in reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

An analysis performed in 2021 of 23 studies that involved 1,815 people, shows that meditation is more effective than traditional treatments in relieving the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

In a study conducted in 1992 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practice can relieve the symptoms of panic and anxiety in people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, panic disorder, as well as panic disorder with agoraphobia.

2. THE COGNITIVE IMPACTS

Two phases of this study were conducted and took place at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado, and involved 60 people who currently had a meditation practice.

These studies showed that a constant meditation practice improves attention as well as cognition.

Cognition is the process of knowing and involving another aspect, such as perception, reasoning, awareness, and judgment.

A recent study by different Spanish universities in collaboration with the University of California, and King’s College London.

This study suggests that practicing Sahaja meditation, which allows people to achieve a state of mental silence, can strengthen the brain’s networks of attention and executive control.

3. HELPS IMPROVE MEMORY, CONCENTRATION, AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

In one study that consisted of 15 precipitants for 8 weeks, how ranged in age from 52 to 77, and they were required to keep a daily log.

7 of the 15 precipitants suffered from mild age-associated memory issues, 5 suffered from mild cognitive issues, and three suffered from moderate issues of memory with an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.

The findings of the study show an increase in the cerebral blood flow in the frontal as well as the parietal lobes. These two areas of the brain are used to retrieve memories.

A study from the University of the Basque Country showed that the daily practice of just ten minutes of relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness provides physiological, cognitive, emotional, social, and academic benefits among adolescent students.

4. HELPS WITH ADDICTIONS

A review of 21 studies was conducted to find out if meditation can help with addictions. Their finding showed that stress levels are lowered which helps on the road to recovery.

Mindfulness practice helps a person to become aware of their automatic behavior or patterns that are related to opioid addiction.

The findings from these studies also found that a daily practice reduces the symptoms of withdrawal, cravings as well as negative results of substance use.

5. IMPROVES SLEEP

In a series of 18 different trials that included 1,654 participants from 2010 to 2018, showed that a mindfulness meditation practice can improve sleep quality.

The secondary findings included an improvement in the symptoms of insomnia, fatigue, and depression.

6. HELPS TO CONTROL PAIN

A 2018 study at the University at Buffalo, Buffalo New York, included mindfulness, meditation, and the brain.

Their findings showed that a long-term practice can change the structure of the brain.

Their findings showed a change in the cortical thickness, which are grooves on the surface area of the brain. These grooves can be seen in image scans of the brain.

7. LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE

The autonomic nervous system has two parts, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

The sympathetic nervous system is known as the fight or flight response and the parasympathetic nervous system is known as the rest and digest response.

For the blood pressure to lower, the parasympathetic nervous system needs to be activated. This is something that a regular meditation practice can provide.

8. HELPS WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE

A review of studies carried out at the University of Girona and published in the journal Medicina Naturista concludes that the mindfulness technique improves both motor and non-motor symptoms in the event of Parkinson’s disease.

14 patients with Parkinson’s disease took part in this study that lasted for 8 weeks and used mindfulness-based interventions. MRI scans of their brains were taken before and after the study.

The findings of those scans showed more density in the gray matter, which is where nerve cells are concentrated in areas of the brain.

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