Remember how many times you come home totally stressed out. And then, after sometime in the peaceful environment of home, your mind starts to relax and all of a sudden, the problem starts to look a lot less terrifying.
That’s the power of a relaxed mind.
If you can include meditation in your daily routine, in just a month you would achieve significant results. There are many well-researched benefits of meditation. Don’t take our word, look at the scientific studies that back up the claim that “a pass to enlightenment” can be found after 4 weeks of daily searching. To read more about benefits of practice, you can read our post at https://oneminddharma.com/benefits-of-meditation/.
Swap daily stress and drama for a peaceful mind.
Now, everybody heard of meditation as a panacea from stress. The critical eye would suspect that there’s a trick but, as it turns out, it is a scientifically proven fact. Psychological stress is a major cause of stress-related health problems such as anxiety and depression. According to the same research, after 8 weeks people feel significant relief from anxiety and depression disorders. During stressful situations levels of cortisol hormone are rising in our body. This hormone provokes many harmful processes in our organism and the release of inflammation-promoting small proteins, called cytokines, is one of them.
All of this can lead to anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and other mental disorders.
Another fascinating effect belongs to one of the most common practices of meditation called mindfulness. Recent studies came to the conclusion that mindfulness can decrease the inflammation response. After an 8-week course of mindfulness meditation, the focus group displayed a higher response of immune system to stressful situations, all due to a lower post-inflammatory response from stress hormones. Another researcher from Illinois found that 2 months of meditation will contribute to your well-being and overall reluctance to get involved in conflicts. As soon as in a couple weeks of meditation, you will feel different in stressful situations.
Relieve the pressure of heavy thoughts – get rid of high blood pressure.
Indeed meditation is a great activity to find inner peace and stress relief. It also can bring balance to your vascular system. Having analyzed 12 studies, with almost a thousand participants, Chinese scientists found a positive effect of transcendental meditation on blood pressure. Intentional relaxation coordinates heart function, affecting nerve signals and lowering blood pressure by five points.
On the other hand, meditation has beneficial effects on cardiovascular diseases prevention. The process is as follows: meditation orchestrates hormonal balance and triggers positive effects in the central nervous system and in the body as a whole. All types of meditation enhance insulin resistance and help control blood pressure. This perk of meditation will help your heart and nerves stay young and strong sustaining your health longer.
Meditation is a powerful weapon against rapid changes in blood pressure that can result in heart attacks and strokes.
Become a kinder person with an open mind.
One of the crucial ways of finding inner peace is becoming a kindhearted, open-minded person. Although all styles of meditation are beneficial for this goal, one type specifically guides you to kindness. It’s called Mettā, which can be roughly translated to English as “loving-kindness”, “friendliness”. These scientists from Britain aimed to analyze the effects of kindness-based meditation on the health and well-being of the two control groups.
Having conducted 22 rounds of research, they found out that meditation decreased self-reported depression and increased mindfulness, compassion and self-compassion. Also, positive emotions were on the rise due to progressive relaxation. An even more striking study was attempted by these folks from Old Dominion University, Virginia. The researchers studied the influence of meditation on aggressive stance in female detainees. Convicts took part in 2 ½ meditation sessions once a week. After a month and a half, the experimental group experienced relief in sleep disorders, violent impulses such as hitting people or throwing things and felt less prone to nail or cuticle biting. Furthermore, they reported feeling less guilty and more confident and hopeful about their future.
Feel different, think different of the world around you.
Yet another perk of meditation is a possibility to see yourself and the world around you from another perspective. A group of researchers from Madison, Wisconsin found out that meditation can help you recognize harmful thoughts. Thus, you should be able to cultivate a better understanding of yourself and tame the unwanted habits.
Another change resulting from meditation is a self-esteem boost, says this research. A group of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer participated in a 12 week Tai Chi meditation sessions. Starting with week 6 of regular meditation, they noted a boost of self-esteem and reported a better health-related quality of life. This result outdoes significantly the reports of those women who received social support sessions instead of meditation. As you can see, regular meditation can give people a better understanding of their mind and body and helps to grasp a fresh perception of the world around.
Trick your brain into working better.
Meditation binds your brain to work better. If you meditate regularly, you might start growing new gray matter as soon as on week 8 of practice. Researchers from LA used high-resolution MRI data of 44 participants to find out that meditations are triggering an increase in the volume of brain structure. Right hippocampus and right orbitofrontal cortex were significantly larger in people who practice meditation compared to the control group. These parts of our brain are responsible for response control and emotional regulation. In a nutshell, they help us form habits and provide the ability for developing positive emotions, keeping emotional stability and mindful behavior.
It is a known fact, that aging comes with a loss of cognitive skills such as memory, the ability to learn new things, or think fast. If you make meditation your daily habit, the older you will express their deepest gratitude to you. A research done by German scholars in collaboration with US specialists yielded a proof that meditation has a positive effect on cognition in younger and middle-aged adults. The positive dynamics has been recorded in attention, memory, executive function, thought-processing speed, and general cognition. Meditation, thus, can lead to more productive work of your brain now and delay its aging.
Get more productive by doing “nothing”.
From a certain point of view, meditation looks like you are doing nothing. Just sitting there, your mind in the cloud. But, as always, the looks are deceiving, and some researchers of mindful meditation have confirmed a positive link between the regular practice and productive working skills. For example, this study discovered that mindful meditation affects multitasking. Scientists introduced some office workers to a 8-week meditation course and conducted a series of tests of their capabilities. The participants were given stressful multi-flow tasks before and after the training. It appeared that the focus group had lower stress levels, displayed better memory and focus on the tasks. The other study from Pennsylvania attempted to determine the relation between mindfulness and attention.
One of the focus groups took an intensive course of mindful meditation and their results were compared to the reports of the control group which wasn’t training. The former group showed appeared to have better attention-related skills such as altering, orienting and conflict monitoring. In addition, meditation can intensify our ability to make right decisions subconsciously. In short, staying “frozen” in one spot and just breathing can work magic on your daily productivity.
Meditation can and will make you a better version of yourself. All you need is just give it a try. If mediation seems too big an undertaking, ease your way in with yoga. First, you will move your body, and then, slowly, you will learn to feel and control the movements of your mind. It’s all up to you, how and where your mind will guide you. Science confirms that by developing a healthy habit out of conscious breathing and meditation, you will feel a difference in your inner balance and daily life already after a month.
Won’t hurt to try!
Bio: Sadi Khan writes on topics related to physical and mental health on RunRepeat.com. Several studies have shown the physical activity and exercise like running or Yoga can improve your mood and contribute to your mental wellbeing.