Health Benefits of Meditation

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Meditation continues to gain massive popularity due to its health benefits. Meditation is all about relaxing your mind. In today’s world, there is a lot of stress, anxiety, and other life expectations. All these things can give too much pressure on the mind; therefore, affecting the mood and making an individual lose focus.

Meditation has been proven to effectively calm the human body and clear the minds and bring peace and a sense of awareness.  Meditation is for all people irrespective of age. The following are some of the health benefits of meditation.

  • It reduces stress

One of the main reasons why people meditate is to reduce stress. When a person is mentally or physically stressed, the level of stress hormone cortisol increases. Cortisol hormone produces harmful effects of stress, such as the release of cytokines- these are inflammation-promoting chemicals. The effects of the cytokine can increase blood pressure, promote depression and anxiety, contribute to fatigue, and disrupt sleep.  Research also shows that mindfulness meditation can reduce the inflammation response caused by stress.

  • Promotes emotional health

Meditation can also improve your self-image and give you perceive life more positively. Cytokines-the inflammatory chemicals that are released in response to stress can influence mood and lead to depression. Several studies show that meditation may reduce depression by decreasing these inflammatory chemicals. 

  • Meditation helps in controlling anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders that affect millions of people across the world. If you are less stressed, you are less likely to suffer from anxiety. Mindfulness meditation can help in reducing anxiety. Meditation also reduces symptoms of anxiety, such as paranoid thoughts, social anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks.  Various types of meditation strategies may reduce anxiety levels. 

  • Meditation can help to reduce age-related memory loss

You can keep your mind young by improving your attention or thinking clearly. There is a particular form of meditation [Kirtan Kriya], which combines a chant and mantra with repetitive motion of fingers to focus thoughts. This form of meditation can improve your ability to perform memory tasks in many age-related memory loss.  Meditation can increase attention and memory in older people. Apart from improving age-related memory loss, meditation can also improve memory in people with dementia. 

  • Meditation can help to control pain

How you perceive pain is connected to your state of mind, and it can even get worse during stressful moments. Meditation has effectively shown excellent results in reducing pain. Regular meditation can lead to particular physical changes in the brain that may help to alter the perception of pain. People who meditate tend to experience reduced pain sensitivity than people who don’t meditate.

  • Improves sleep

Almost half the population will suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. One study shows that people who meditate fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for a more extended period compared to people who don’t meditate. Regular meditation can help you to control the thoughts that usually lead to insomnia. Moreover, meditation can help to relax the body by releasing tension and putting you in a peaceful state in which you are more likely to fall sleep. 

  • Meditation can help you fight addiction

When you meditate regularly, you develop a mental discipline that can help you break dependencies by increasing awareness and self-control of the triggers for addictive behaviors. Research shows that meditation can help addicts to learn how to redirect their attention, control their emotions, increase their will power, and make them understand better the causes of their addictive behaviors. Meditation can also help in controlling food cravings hence reduce emotional eating.

  • Meditation decreases blood pressure

Meditation can promote your physical health by preventing the heart from straining. High blood pressure can make the heart work harder to pump blood and this can cause the heart to function poorly. High blood pressure promotes atherosclerosis [the narrowing of the arteries]; this can lead to strokes or heart attacks. 

Meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, can help to control blood pressure. Research shows that people who meditate regularly tend to have lower blood pressure than those who don’t meditate. Researchers believe that meditation may reduce the way the body responds to cortisol and other stress hormones.