Our hectic schedules and stress often make us forget some important appointments or events in our lives. We barely find the time to get all our chores done, go shopping, let alone unwind with our family and friends. It often feels like we have very little time with too many things to do. This sometimes culminates into stress and if not checked early enough, develops into depression. This is one reason that numerous people are turning to meditation to find calm and peace of mind. You might be wondering: what happens when you meditate for a long time?
Long term benefits and effects of meditation
- Better sleep
People who are deprived of sleep often experience bouts of anxiety and depression. However, studies prove that people who practice meditation report improved sleep. It’s one of the most wholesome long term meditation benefits that meditators enjoy. Patients suffering from insomnia and similar sleep disorders are encouraged to practice different meditation techniques to better manage their conditions. The American Journal of Medicine once conducted a study that aimed to unearth the effects of meditation on insomniacs. The results were incredible – all the patients reported improved sleep quality. 91% of these patients lowered their sleeping pill doses or stopped taking them altogether.
- Enhancing memory, concentration and perception
If you’re curious about what happens when you meditate for a long time, consider the scientific studies performed on Buddhist monks and possibly borrow a leaf from them. Many Buddhist monks and practitioners have perfected the art of meditation over the years. Studies conducted on some Buddhist monks highlighted the long term effects of meditation on the brain. There was an elevated brain activity within those regions associated with relaxation, happiness, concentration, self-awareness and other positive emotions. Conversely, the brain areas responsible for stress and anxiety had shrunk.
- Increasing levels of happiness and compassion
This is among the most desirable long term benefits of meditation. According to Rachel Parrish, a well-practiced meditation instructor, our ability to exhibit true compassion isn’t based on our situation but rather, on our complete openness. Compassion is a remarkable trait that’s hard-wired in all of us. A continuous practice of meditation allows us to dig deep within ourselves to access happiness and compassion. People often try to derive their joy from external sources (like social media) but true happiness comes from within.
- Improving the immune system
Most meditation long term effects benefit the entire body by calming the mind. Some studies have indicated that people who practice meditation produce a higher number of antibodies more rapidly compared to those who don’t. More antibodies in the body means you’ll rarely get sick – pathogenic microorganisms are quickly detected and eliminated as soon as they show up in the body. Clearly, meditation not only improves your state of mind but also strengthens your body’s disease-fighting mechanism. A healthy body is simply a reflection of a peaceful mind.
- Improving alertness and focus
We all require to be alert while carrying out our different tasks. Any activity that is performed devoid of focus and attention results in lackluster results. However, factors like stress and work pressure prompt us to perform work quickly and ineffectively. Experts now recommend mindfulness meditation to help calm our minds and improve our alertness. Studies have proved that enhanced concentration is one of the long term effects of meditation on the brain. Luckily, you can practice mindfulness even when performing ordinary tasks at home or at work. Instead of working on a number of tasks and multitasking, pick one job and work on it to completion. This will not only improve your productivity but also better your intelligence and creativity.
If you desire a better quality of life in the future, meditation is the best natural solution for you. Meditation needn’t be stressful – even practicing it for 5 minutes per day will significantly improve your cognition and reduce anxiety and depression. Take advantage of these long term benefits of meditation by starting your meditation sessions today. If you need some help, the Mindworks Meditation App is an excellent guided meditation app you can use. It contains a wide array of resources that will help you get started, and if you’ve meditated for a while, deepen your practice.