Meditation, the practice of focused concentration is universally known to have numerous health benefits. There are hundreds of studies that have investigated the positive effects of meditation on both physical and mental health. TABIIB brings you a humble list of all the health benefits of meditation.
Mental Health Benefits
1. Reduces Depression, Anxiety And Stress
Meditation is known to have various mental health benefits. It relaxes the mind and control emotions mainly because meditation involves focusing on the mind. In fact, studies show that meditation helps people handle their negative feelings and emotions better.
When it comes to mental health, meditation is scientifically proven to reduce signs of depression and anxiety as well. In a research study that was conducted on 400 students, the researchers identified that students who followed in-class meditation reduced signs of depression, anxiety and stress. Another study identified that individuals with past depression showed a reduction in stress after participating in an 8-week mindfulness-based, stress-reduction program.
Even though meditation and mindfulness might not help every individual, on an average it is believed to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. A study that analysed over 18,000 scientific studies identified that there was evidence that showed that a meditation program could reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
2. Improves Memory
The human brain is what makes our species so different from other animals on the planet. Memory and intellectual capacity play an essential role in the survival of human beings. However, with age or with a few diseases, the functionality of the brain can decrease with time. However, studies show that mindfulness and meditation can positively impact the grey-matter density in the brain. This essentially means that meditation can also improve learning, memory, compassion and introspection.
A research group from West Virginia University identified that the practice of meditation has multiple benefits in older adults with preclinical memory loss. Additionally, the study also identified that listening to music or meditating can help with age-related memory loss issues.
Physical Health Benefits
1. Improves Immune System
While we might have all heard of the mental health benefits of meditation, studies actually show that it can positively impact your physical health too. According to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, frequent mindfulness can improve immune system functions.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Meditation can also reduce inflammatory conditions in people. A study conducted in France and Spain showed that the practice of meditation produces a range of genetic and molecular effects on the body. It mainly identified that it reduced the levels of inflammatory genes.
3. Improves Heart Health
Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in the world. Various studies from across the world show that meditation can also improve heart health. A study conducted in Korea showed that the participant’s heart rate decreased for good after 8 months of meditation. Another study observed high-risk individuals for 5 years and identified that people who took meditation classes showed a 48% reduction in overall risk for heart conditions.
Even if meditation doesn’t show all the mentioned health improvements in everyone, it does help us at least reflect on our emotions and thoughts. In this fast-paced world, it is often very easy to get overwhelmed mentally and emotionally. So taking a few minutes every day to focus on our body will not only give us a break from the harsh realities of the world but will also help us reflect on our actions.