Meditation is increasingly getting popular as more and more people discover its wide-ranging benefits. Although this practice has been around for centuries now, it’s only recently that scientific researchers have discovered a strong link between meditation and physical health. In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings. We often end up developing stress and anxiety issues and as a result, our health deteriorates significantly.
Health experts around the world concur that practicing a little mindfulness every day can make all the difference. The physical and mental benefits of meditation are immense and well documented.
Physical benefits of mindfulness
Stress and anxiety are mental states that appear when an individual is too worried about past or future happenings. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is released by our brains every time we get into stressful situations. Researchers recently discovered that practicing meditation helps to lower the production of cortisol in our brains. Stress hormone levels remain low hours after meditating. As a result, meditators are able to attain healthy mental states. These findings attest to the incredible physical and mental benefits of meditation.
Top 6 Physical & Mental Benefits of Meditation
- Maintaining a healthy heart
Thorough studies show that practicing daily meditation can improve blood circulation and lower your heart rate. Psychosomatic Medicine, a trusted health publication, performed a study proving that frequent meditators had lower amounts of lipid peroxide compared to non-meditators. Lipid peroxide is an undesired compound that hardens the arteries causing atherosclerosis. In more recent studies, meditation was shown to lower blood pressure. It is clear that meditation can truly improve physical health.
- Enhancing the immune system
The immune system is a crucial component of the human body. It is composed of a myriad of biological processes and structures whose work is to protect the body against foreign organisms and fight disease. According to a 2003 study performed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, frequent meditation helped to improve the immune system function. It also produced positive lasting changes within the brain.
- Controlling stress and anxiety
This is one of the main physical and mental benefits of meditation. Everywhere people are searching for natural ways to manage their stress and anxiety issues. As noted above, one study concluded that cortisol, an undesired stress hormone, was produced in much less quantities after participants engaged in a mindfulness program. Less stress directly translates to less anxiety and a healthier brain. Less stress also contributes to reducing blood pressure, promoting good sleep and improving judgment.
- Improving memory retention
As we age, our brain function gradually deteriorates. However, scientists have unearthed that practicing consistent meditation can help reduce memory loss among aging individuals. It can also improve the memory of dementia patients. Meditation not only improves memory and attention but also enhances alertness and mental quickness among the elderly. Those caring for patients with mental issues also need an effective technique to cope and control stress – meditation can offer great help.
- Improving quality of sleep
One of the most intriguing physical benefits of mindfulness is improving sleep quality. We’ve all struggled with a sleeping disorder at one point or another – almost half of the world population suffers with some sort of sleep deprivation to a greater or lesser extent. One particular study found that individuals who performed daily meditation enjoyed better, longer sleep compared to non-meditators. This remarkable relationship between meditation and physical health cannot be disputed.
- Boosting women’s health
Women often suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), headaches and an assortment of other health issues associated with their numerous demanding roles. Luckily, meditation can help them to manage the physical symptoms of such issues. This practice also helps to improve ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and soreness.
With all the innumerable physical and mental benefits of meditation, you should be encouraged to meditate. However, some people are simply unaware of these benefits while others lack the motivation to start. Here’s a resource that can help: the Mindworks Guided Meditation App. It contains a variety of daily meditation techniques that you’ll love. Make it your resolution to start meditating. You won’t get over the incredible transformation that will ensue.