When you practice meditation, your mind would be freed and you’ll start noticing you’re thinking more about the process of breathing. This results in your brain being able to process stressful thoughts more efficiently.
Many researchers developed different studies on the effects and benefits of mindfulness on the body throughout the decades. If you want to learn more about these, read more below.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a mental discipline in which an individual employs a technique concentrating the mind on an object, thought, or action. This aims to train one’s focus, attain mental calmness, and have a psychologically balanced condition. This practice enables individuals to deal with stress and to promote a better quality of life.
Some people meditate to relax, but others want to experience a higher state of awareness like being one with nature around them. There are different kinds of meditation, and the most common one is called mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation involves observing your body while you’re sitting, standing, or walking without being consumed by what’s around you. It includes observing your surroundings and not just your internal self. It’s a kind of spiritual meditation practiced in China and Tibet for thousands of years, involving awareness of your body and what’s around you.
Another kind is breathing meditation. It consists of sitting in a comfortable chair or bed, closing your eyes, inhaling through your nose, and exhaling through your mouth. You can then focus on the breath going in and out until you complete a cycle.
Health Benefits Of Meditation
If you want to improve your overall health, you should consider doing daily meditation. Here are some science-backed benefits to convince you to add this to your routine:
#1. It May Help In Pain Management
One health benefit of meditation is it can be used as an alternative to pain management. Some studies establish the benefit of mindfulness meditation for chronic pain, which lasts more than three months or past the normal time the tissue is expected to heal. Chronic pain can lead to significant medical, economic, and social consequences. People who have this condition tend to lose productivity at work and have problems with their relationships.
In the study, mindfulness meditation was associated with a slight improvement in the pain symptoms of the test subjects. Aside from this, the subjects who meditated showed greater ability to cope with what they’re experiencing, reducing the pain they feel.
#2. It May Help Control Addiction
Meditation has also been proven to reduce the negative effects of addiction in some individuals. This is the reason why many recovery centers and rehabilitation centers have meditation programs for their patients.
On a physical level, meditation helps patients learn how to alter their brain functions by changing their thought patterns to prevent relapse. Mindfulness meditation helps strengthen connections and expand the pathways frequently used in the brain.
With this, the practice teaches the patient to control their impulses and cravings to whatever they’re addicted to. This encourages the brain to establish new behaviors, and the patient learns to calm and soothe themselves without using any substance.
#3. It May Help Reduce Stress
Stress is the leading cause of physical and mental problems. It often accompanies symptoms of other more serious medical conditions.
You might be wondering how stress affects the body. Physically, the most common effects are muscle tension, increased heart rate, and anxiety. The first sign of muscle tension is difficulty in breathing, which will lead to an increase in your heartbeat. Stress is also one of the leading causes of headaches and insomnia.
On the psychological side, one of the most common symptoms is depression and other emotional problems. Stress can cause a person to lose concentration, causing them to become distracted and angry. Emotional symptoms include frequent colds, inability to concentrate, constant worry about everyday events, and the incapability to relax.
It’s been said that meditation programs help reduce the stress people experience in their daily lives. Meditation for stress management allows people to control their emotions and thoughts while learning to deal with stressful situations with an increased sense of calmness.
#4. It May Help Enhance Mental And Emotional Health
Generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD, can be one of the most difficult conditions to live with. It’s characterized by extreme worry and tension over various aspects of life. These worries can significantly interfere with the patient’s life and can lead to multiple potential health problems. In some extreme cases, patients can even develop depression and suicidal thoughts.
GAD symptoms can range widely, including difficulty in concentrating, frequent feeling of dread, trouble sleeping, muscle tension, restlessness, irritability, constant feeling of being on the edge, headache, nausea, sweating, and frequent urination. Additionally, they may also include problems with physical digestion, challenges in making decisions, and feelings of being tensed.
Meditation helps people with anxiety and emotional problems because it makes them feel relaxed. A study also revealed that people who completed a meditation exercise tend to experience lesser negative thoughts in response to looking at negative images compared to a control group who didn’t complete a meditation exercise.
The benefits of meditation aren’t limited to an individual’s sense of well-being and happiness. As shown from different reviews and studies, meditation can be a supplementary treatment for chronic pain and mental health issues like depression and anxiety. This is because meditation helps individuals focus on positive things and it makes them feel calm and more aware of their surroundings.
Meditation might be beneficial, but it’s still best to consult a medical professional first. While it can ease various conditions, the practice shouldn’t be used as a treatment per se. Rather, it should be done to supplement the way you live and to build better habits.
Anyone can learn how to meditate. It’s inexpensive, easy, and it doesn’t need any special tools. You could meditate anywhere, amid a stressful business meeting or even at home. Consider the benefits mentioned here as you incorporate this in your lifestyle.