Meditation is one of the first things that come to mind when wellness is brought up. We are strong advocates of meditation and we think it can work wonders on our good and bad days. Many people around the world are still skeptical, though, so we decided to share some of its benefits with all of you. If you’re on the skeptical side, this article may surprise you!
Meditation reduces stress and anxiety.
Meditation can help us stay in the present moment and forget about our worries for a little while, but that isn’t all. Goyal et al. (2014) scientifically proved that mindful meditation reduces stress by reducing the production of cortisol. The production of cortisol in our body when we’re stressed causes many of stress’s harmful effects, including the release of cytokines. Cytokines are linked to increased blood pressure, fatigue and even depression. The reduction of stress could also mean less sleep disruptions and feeling less fatigue. Certain types of meditation, such as mindful meditation, can also help with anxiety regulation.
Meditation can increase self-awareness.
Some types of meditation, like self-enquiry meditation, can help us get a better understanding of who we are. Other types can enhance our awareness of our thoughts and habits, which can help us take control of our life. Tai chi is associated with an increase in self-efficacy, according to a review that included 27 studies. Understanding oneself can also help with social interactions as well as help us be more comfortable with ourselves. A recent study showed that mindfulness meditation has shown reduced feelings of loneliness and an increase in social interaction in just two weeks.
Meditation enhances focus and attention span.
Some types of meditation can increase our ability to focus and elongate our attention span, like focused-attention meditation. Focused-attention meditation involves focusing our attention on certain sensations or objects like breath focus or body scans. A study found that people who used guided meditation tapes experienced an improvement in paying attention while completing tasks. An improved attention span also improves our memory. Meditating for even just a few minutes a day is enough to have an effect on our brains. How many minutes? Well, a study conducted by Basso et al. (2019) found that meditating for at least 13 minutes a day improves focus and memory after 8 weeks. So, not that many after all!
Meditation helps reduce sleep disruptions.
Overthinking, fatigue and stress are some of the many things that can disrupt our sleep. Meditating regularly during the day or before bed can help us feel calmer and sleep better. Mindfulness meditation has been proven to increase the number of hours of sleep. A study conducted by Ong et al. (2014) showed that meditation can help reduce insomnia severity. That could be because it releases the tension we carry in our body and allows us to relax, which makes us feel more peaceful and ready for bed.
Meditation helps increase kindness and compassion.
Meditation can increase our kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others. Metta, also known as loving-kindness meditation, has been proven to help people become more compassionate beings. Multiple studies concluded that metta increased people’s compassion and made them experience more positive thoughts. Moreover, another study showed that practicing metta three times a week helps you become a more sociable, positive and sympathetic person after only four weeks.
If you could dedicate just a few minutes of your day to meditate, you’ll start to see and feel the shift in your life. Taking the time to invest in yourself is one of the most valuable things you can do. You deserve to spend some quality time with yourself. There are loads of different types of meditation, click here to learn about 5 of them!