Benefits of Meditation

 

Young woman lying on grass enjoying the benefits of meditation. Meditation may help a person to modify their negative mindsets.As the coronavirus pandemic is heavily affecting the planet, it’s inducing a considerable degree of fear, worry, and concern. The lockdown and quarantine imposed because of the pandemic have affected many people’s usual activities, routines, or livelihoods. As a result, depression, levels of loneliness, harmful alcohol and drug use, and suicidal behaviour or self-harm are also on the rise. Therefore, the mental health and well-being of people have become a major concern all over the world – more people than ever are discovering the benefits of meditation.

The good news is performing meditation has proven to be very helpful in a situation like the global pandemic. It is found that meditation can strengthen immunity, reduce anxiety, and help to get a good night’s sleep. Mindfulness meditation helps people by teaching them how to be present and engaged at any moment and having an awareness of feelings without disruption. The practice involves learning our emotions and thoughts without reacting to them.

Studies have found that practicing meditation relaxes the sympathetic nervous system so that we become calmer and less impulsive. Mindfulness meditation teaches us how to focus on the underlying core emotions and make them the primary object of our thought. Hence we’re more likely to make decisions we won’t end up regretting. It’s not something that has the most power over us, but is directed at exploring the structure of our inner feelings.

To keep calm, many individuals turn to alcohol or other vices to blunt pain and emotions. So many people are feeling various degrees of fear in the current environment and consuming alcohol initially brings calm. However, the trouble is while it may help in the short term, it usually leads to addiction and ill health. A study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology suggested that just 11 minutes of mindful meditation may help even heavy drinkers cut back on alcohol. Click here to read about the scientific benefits of brainwave entrainment and meditation.

Conflicts or old resentments often become amplified during times of high stress. It is found that meditation can facilitate access to deep and lasting inner peace and happiness. Developing a mindful relationship with our inner emotions sets up a complete environment that facilitates transformation, resolution, and healing. Taking part in a meditation session can help move us into a place where we are better able to tolerate the situation and react to others with more patience.

Coronavirus has all of us stressed out as we continue to navigate a sea of uncertainty. One research published Globalization and Health found that the global pandemic has been directly responsible for increased stress, anxiety, and depression in people and communities around the world. A very effective way to maintain our mental well-being is mindful meditation. Globally, the popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its remarkable benefits.

Meditation Health Benefits

Health BenefitsResearch Link
Improved immune functionAlterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation

Davidson, Richard J. PhD; Kabat‐Zinn, Jon PhD; Schumacher, Jessica MS; Rosenkranz, Melissa BA; Muller, Daniel MD, PhD; Santorelli, Saki F. EdD; Urbanowski, Ferris MA; Harrington, Anne PhD; Bonus, Katherine MA; Sheridan, John F. PhD

Pain reductionBrain Mechanisms Supporting Modulation of Pain by Mindfulness Meditation

F. Zeidan, K.T. Martucci, R.A. Kraft, N.S. Gordon, J.G. McHaffie, and R.C. Coghill

Celluar level inflamationA comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and an active control in modulation of neurogenic inflammation

Melissa A. Rosenkranz ,Richard J. Davidson,Donal G. MacCoon, John F. Sheridan, Ned H. Kalin, Antoine Lutz

Happiness BenefitsResearch Link
Boost positive emotionsOpen hearts build lives: Positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources

Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Cohn, Michael A.; Coffey, Kimberly A.; Pek, Jolynn; Finkel, Sandra M.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 95(5), Nov 2008, 1045-1062

Decrease depressionThe Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Cognitive Processes and Affect in Patients with Past Depression

Wiveka Ramel, Philippe R. Goldin, Paula E. Carmona, John R. McQuaid

Decrease anxietySystematic Review of the Efficacy of Meditation Techniques as Treatments for Medical Illness

Albert J. Arias, Karen Steinberg, Alok Banga, and Robert L. Trestman.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. October 2006

Decrease stressMindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results From a Randomized Trial

Shapiro, Shauna L.; Astin, John A.; Bishop, Scott R.; Cordova, Matthew

International Journal of Stress Management, Vol 12(2), May 2005, 164-176

Social BenefitsResearch Link
Improve emotional intelligenceLoving-kindness meditation increases social connectedness.

Hutcherson, Cendri A.; Seppala, Emma M.; Gross, James J.

Emotion, Vol 8(5), Oct 2008, 720-724.

Improve compassionEnhancing Compassion: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Compassion Cultivation Training Program

Hooria Jazzier, Geshe Thupten Jinpa, Kelly McGonigal, Erika L. Rosenberg, Joel Finkelstein, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Margaret Cullen, James R. Doty, James J. Gross, Philippe R. Goldin

Decrease lonelinessMindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training reduces loneliness and pro-inflammatory gene expression in older adults: A small randomized controlled trial

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Volume 26, Issue 7, Pages 1095-1101

Self Control BenefitsResearch Link
Anger managementA randomized controlled trial of compassion cultivation training: Effects on mindfulness, affect, and emotion regulation

Hooria Jazaieri, Kelly McGonigal, Thupten Jinpa, James R. Doty, James J. Gross, Philippe R. Goldin

Develop introspectionCoherence between emotional experience and physiology: does body awareness training have an impact?

Sze JA1, Gyurak A, Yuan JW, Levenson RW.

Productivity BenefitsResearch Links
Increase focus and attentionMindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training

Fadel Zeidan, Susan K. Johnson, Bruce J. Diamond, Zhanna David, Paula Goolkasian

Improve multitaskingInitial results from a study of the effects of meditation on multitasking performance

Authors: David M. Levy, Jacob O. Wobbrock, Alfred W. Kaszniak, Marilyn Ostergren

Brain BenefitsResearch Links
Increase grey-matterThe underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation: Larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter

Eileen Luders, Arthur W. Toga, Natasha Lepore, Christian Gaser

 

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