The amazing benefits of meditation

You’ve heard it’s amazing, but do you actually know why meditation is good for you?

Meditation is a practice of mastery over the mind. You begin to lead your thoughts and emotions instead of being led by them. Awareness of your inner and outer world increases and you experience greater connection, health and happiness.

Why meditate?

  • Meditation improves mental and emotional health.
  • Even practicing just a few minutes each day greatly improves the quality of life.
  • Everyone can do it – no special skill is required, just practice.
  • No special equipment, time or place is required, just your intention.
  • Find a meditation style you like (there are several) and just do it.

The benefits of meditation

The benefits of meditation are many and they affect all aspects of the human makeup.

Mind

Meditation quiets the mind and brings greater clarity. Meditation purifies perception and stabilises emotions as the ‘observer’ stays present and non-reactive. It creates a sense of inner calm and offers a greater ability to cope with stressful situations.

Body

Meditation produces a brain wavelength that supports physical immunity. It also gives energy and increases productivity. It has also been proven to reduce physical pain and the effect of certain disorders, such as high blood pressure.

Spirit

Meditation brings about a positive outlook on life and produces a sense of inner fulfilment. It quiets mental and emotional activity, taps into the subconscious and superconscious mind and supports self-knowledge.

11 scientifically proven health benefits of meditation

Studies were conducted in all these areas with proven beneficial effects of meditation.

1. Improves sleep

Meditation induces calm and relaxation and quiets the mind, controlling the runaway thoughts that can lead to insomnia. The peaceful state of meditation makes it easier to fall asleep and for longer.

2. Reduces pain

Meditation reduces sensitivity to pain and increases the ability to cope with pain. It is an effective tool to deal with chronic pain issues.

3. Decreases blood pressure

Meditation has been shown to reduce blood pressure, both during meditation and even in the long term over time. The reduced strain on the heart and arteries helps prevent heart disease.

4. Reduces stress

Meditation combats stress, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and other stress-related conditions such as IBS, high blood pressure, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia.

5. Controls anxiety

Meditation reduces symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.

6. Increases awareness

Meditation develops the ‘observer’ and a stronger understanding and mastery of yourself. It helps you recognise self-defeating thoughts and emotions and develops the ability to steer them to more constructive patterns.

7. Reduces addictions

Meditation increases awareness of triggers for unwanted impulses and develops mental discipline, self-control and willpower that can help redirect them.

8. Lengthens attention span

Focused-attention meditation increases the strength and endurance of your attention. It can reverse brain patterns that contribute to mind-wandering, worrying and easy distraction.

9. Improves memory

Meditation can by like a brain gym, increasing attention, clarity, memory and quickness of response. It has been shown to be effective in age-related memory loss and dementia.

10. Increases positivity

Meditation creates a more positive outlook on life, improving positive thinking, optimism and self-image. It also combats depression.

11. Increases kindness

Meditation increases empathy and compassion, reduces conflict and supports anger management. It increases positive feelings and actions towards self and others.

Types of meditation

There are many different ways to meditate. Techniques range from sitting unmoving to active movement, and from retreating into the inner-world with focused attention to becoming aware of everything in and around you with presence awareness. Objectives also vary from cultivating self-knowledge to an intended personal transmutation through visualisation and other methods. It may be worth trying various types of meditation to find the one that suits you best.

Try this guided meditation

If you are just starting off, try this guided meditation. Put yourself in a comfortable position in a place you know you will not be disturbed, close your eyes and listen.

Photography: Fritz Photography

Writing: Melanie Drury