Top 10 Scientific Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is a funny thing! If you are like most people, you probably feel you would like to meditate, you know some of the benefits of meditation, and you think that one day, you’ll go for it. Maybe you even practice now and again.
But the truth is that most people never develop a consistent practice, even though it is such a simple thing to do. We tend to overcomplicate meditation in our minds, making it much more difficult than it needs to be. My advice is keep it simple – that is the best way.
The first step in your journey is to understand the amazing benefits that meditation can bring.
So, in this article I have covered the most well-documented benefits of meditation. These benefits are supported by scientific studies and links to modern research.
Meditation changes the entire structure of our brain. Over time, we begin to experience deep peace, lasting happiness and freedom from mental restlessness.
Sure, meditation can be challenging at times, but so is anything that is worth doing.
I want to help you start meditating as soon as possible, which is why I’m including a free meditation starter pack with this post. This is a totally free gift. It includes a how to meditate video, a guided meditation, a PDF, and a 30-day meditation calendar.
You can get it right here.
1. Meditation combats anxiety, stress, and depression
The modern world is fast-paced, vibrant and action-packed: alarms, caffeine, long work hours, social media, email, adverts, socializing, television, news, politics, alcohol, housework, job lists, and endless streams of information. Yep, it’s all pretty stressful.
But stress increases cortisol levels in the brain, which disrupts sleep, increases weight, and leads to anxiety. It can also interfere with memory and lead to a long list of other health problems.
Many recent studies reveal the power of meditation to reduce stress. This helps us to overcome anxiety and depression.
One study observed the effects of meditation on 22 patients with anxiety disorders. After three months, 20 of them showed a significant reduction in anxiety and depression.
Another study of 1300 people revealed “substantial reductions” in stress levels after meditating. In both studies, participants maintained these reductions upon follow-up.
Five or ten minutes of meditation a day is enough to lower stress levels in a few weeks. Even one meditation can make you feel more relaxed. So let’s get to it…
2. Meditation reduces negative emotions and increases positive emotions
3. Meditation reduces physical and emotional pain.
Pain keeps us alive and protects us from all kinds of harm. It stops us from doing stupid things like putting a hand in a pot of boiling soup or cutting off a finger with a bread knife. There is a downside, though: it hurts. There’s a whole spectrum of physical and emotional pain that we have to experience throughout our lives.
Chronic pain affects about 1.5 billion people around the world. It is the most common cause of long-term disability.
Recent studies reveal that meditation improves our ability to cope with pain.
One study by Kober and associates found the following:
“The number of hours of meditation a person had completed was directly related to his or her ability to handle pain.”
Dr. Fadel Zeidan of Wake Forest Medical Center, reported that meditation was more effective than morphine in reducing pain.
“We found […] about a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness. Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent.”
4. Meditation improves relationships and social connections.
5. Meditation improves focus, attention, and productivity.
6. Meditation improves learning and memory.
Do you ever feel frustrated because you just can’t remember the right word? Struggle to recall people’s names? Are you constantly searching for your keys or your wallet?
Well, you’re not alone. Many people experience the same struggle with memory, and some feel that modern technology may be to blame.
Thirty years ago, scientists claimed that when people reached the age of 22, their brains would stop developing. From then on, that was it — a one-way ticket to Moronville!
Luckily, thanks to modern research in neuroplasticity, we now know this isn’t true. As it turns out, the brain is highly changeable. There are steps we can take to improve its function and even its structure, and one of the best steps is meditation.
This study shows that meditation leads to an increase in grey matter density, which improves learning and memory. This increase leads to better information retention and recall.
Another study found that meditation has positive effects on cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s.
And this one found that meditation and guided relaxation improves recall in children.
So whether you’re young or old, meditation can help you improve your memory and change your brain for the better.
7. Meditation improves physical health.
8. Meditation enhances creativity and problem-solving.
9. Meditation improves decision-making.
10. Meditation improves sleep.
So Let’s Begin
Grab a copy of the meditation starter pack below. It contains everything you need to start meditating on your own so you don’t have to depend on guided meditations.
You may begin to feel the benefits of meditation shortly after you start—even within a few days or weeks, but the true benefits are the ones that come from making meditation a long-term daily practice. Just as with exercise, if you stop meditating, the benefits will stop as well.
Start by meditating just a few minutes every day. The beginning is all about forming the habit—consistency is the key.
And don’t get too hung up on results! Just release your expectations and allow yourself to meditate without being attached to outcomes.
Later down the line, you’ll look back and you won’t believe how much you’ve changed.
Do you practice meditation? What other benefits have you experienced? Share your experience in the comments below.
RELATED POST: TOP 10 SPIRITUAL BENEFITS OF MEDITATION