05 Apr Benefits Of Meditation
The Benefits Of Meditation
Meditation has the ability to transform your life in ways you never knew possible. For the skeptics out there reading this blog, by the time you are finished reading I hope you are thoroughly convinced that meditation can benefit you in extraordinary ways. In a world where so many aspects of our day to day are busy – all too often we are overwhelmed, challenged, and overworked. It is especially important in these tumultuous times to consider meditation.
There is also a lot of perplexity around meditation and the notion that it is solely spiritual. You can be of any faith or have no faith to practice meditation – it is not a religious practice necessarily. However, if you would like it to be you can pray while meditating. This is entirely optional and up to the individual.
The ability to focus and concentrate is an extremely powerful tool, and when the mind is faced with anything strenuous or stressful there is a tendency for it to want to move away. This is what distraction is, it’s the mind ultimately saying “I’d rather not be here.” In a new technology driven era, it has become increasingly more difficult to maintain focus and work on the task at hand.
In a society where we are bombarded with information and distraction, our attention becomes a scare resource. Throughout history, it was much easier to maintain focus. Many people had cultivated a capacity for sustained attention long before books were common practice. The hunter, the craftsman, the ascetic all had extraordinary control of their attention.
Meditation enables you to enter a state where your senses and thoughts are concentrated. It is here where you can reclaim your focus. There is a sullen silence that is both comforting and delightful when in meditation. Your attention is brought back and you begin to become relaxed. Here are a few benefits of meditation that you too can discover.
Stress Reduction – Researchers have discovered that meditation can lower your stress hormones. It reduces one specifically called epinephrine. It has been shown to diminish the amount of cholesterol in the blood and therefore help arteries to remain clear. Exercise also has very similar effects.
Boosts Immune System – Because meditation reduces the stress hormones, this means it also supports the healthy functioning of the immune system. Your immune system defends you from disease-causing microbes.
Less Anxiety – Less stress translates to less anxiety. For example, an eight-week study of mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce their anxiety. It also reduced symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.
Enhances Your Attention Span & Focus – Meditation allows you to put your focus and attention to something calm and still. It allows you to be aware of what is happening in front of you, to fully experience it.
Improves Sleep – Rutgers University researchers discovered that melatonin levels for meditation practitioners were boosted by an average of 98%, with many participants having increases by more than an incredible 300%!
Can Reduce Your Blood Pressure – According to a 2008 analysis investigators came to the conclusion that engaging in transcendental meditation could have the potential to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by about 4.7 and 3.2 mm Hg, respectively.
Another study followed up with 18 volunteers three years after they had completed an eight-week meditation program. Most volunteers had continued practicing regular meditation and maintained lower anxiety levels over the long term. A larger study in 2,466 participants also showed that a variety of different meditation strategies may reduce anxiety levels. For example, yoga has been shown to help people reduce anxiety. This is likely due to benefits from both meditative practice and activity. Meditation may also help control job-related anxiety in high-pressure work environments.