Have you tried meditation before? If not, you should. And here are 20 reasons why that might help motivate you to get started.
For decades, meditation has been viewed with suspicion and been labeled “esoteric,” along with crystals, astrology, and palm readings.
As more people turn to meditation practice, though, its ability to create silence, inner peace and tranquility is becoming mainstream. If you’ve never meditated, below are some convincing reasons to consider giving it a try.
If you are practicing meditation regularly (or want to attempt it), keep reading to discover the physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits that you get while meditating!
20 Amazing Benefits of Meditation
Great for your mind, body, and soul, here are 20 stunning benefits of meditation.
1. A Strong Heart
Meditation is not just for the brain. It has numerous physical health benefits, as well. Recent studies have found that meditation can protect us against heart disease and stroke (both leading causes of death in the Western world).
Meditation also lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, and reduces cholesterol and atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries that can cause heart problems).
2. A Slimmer Body
It sounds too good to be true, but you can shed pounds without sweating in the gym!
Today, many of us gain weight through poor eating habits and mindless eating. Meditation increases mindfulness and promotes more conscious. This allows us to eat healthier and, consequently, stay thinner.
3. Slower Aging
Biological age measures how old a person is physiologically, taking into consideration the functioning of the major organ systems.
As it turns out, long-term meditators (those who have been practicing meditation for more than five years) are physiologically 12 years younger than their chronological age. Short-term meditators, meanwhile, reverse physiological signs of aging by five years!
4. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Neurology shows that meditation boosts the intensity of alpha waves – brain waves associated with a quiet, receptive mind state. This relaxed state decreases worry and stress by efficiently lowering “stress” hormones in the body and shifting brain activity to a calmer place.
5. A Stronger Immune System and Improved Mood
Meditation can help your body fight illness and lift your spirits when you feel frustrated or sad. The most remarkable thing, however, is that these positive biological effects can last up to four months after the end of meditation.
6. Decreased Muscle Tension
Had a long day at work? As little as 15 minutes of meditation can increase circulation, oxygenate your muscles, and help you cope with tension and fatigue much better.
7. Better Sleep
Bedtime meditation is a great natural sleep aid.
Not only does meditation promote deeper and more restful sleep, but it may also make falling asleep easier.
Struggling with insomnia? Meditation might be able to help A recent study published by The American Journal of Medicine reported that insomnia patients improved sleep through meditation and 91% either fully eliminated or reduced sleeping medication use.
8. Fewer Headaches
If you struggle with headaches or migraines, meditation can be a complementary practice. Because meditation offers positive, relaxing effects on your body and your mind, it eliminates the main causes of headaches (stress, muscle tension, and anxiety).
9. Increased Focus
Contrary to what many people believe, meditation does not mean “zoning out.”
In fact, regular practice will make your mind sharper and quicker. A vast body of research shows that meditation enhances our ability to stay focused and enter a state of “flow” at work or during play.
10. Improved Memory
For years, scientists have been studying whether meditation could improve memory.
As it turns out, it can! According to one study, people who participated in a 40-day meditation program did four times better on memory tests than a group of people who did not meditate.
So, if you can’t remember your spouse’s phone number or have a hard time remembering where you last saw your keys start meditating!
11. Greater Control Over Thoughts
We may have conquered space and developed nano-technologies, but most of us still struggle to conquer our minds. Negative thoughts and self-doubt keep coming back, stealing our focus and draining our energy. Luckily, meditation is the most effective technique to help us calm our minds and keep the flow of negative thoughts under control.
12. Improved Creativity
If your work depends on creativity, your most valuable piece of equipment is not your laptop – it’s your mind’s ability to generate new ideas.
In a world of constant distractions and worries, though, it’s not always easy to access our creativity. Meditation helps calm our overly-agitated minds and improve focus. It also promotes the cooperation of our creative (right) brain and rational (left) brain, creating perfect conditions for brainstorming million-dollar ideas.
13. Greater Intelligence
Scientists have discovered that meditation can improve brain development and boost intelligence. Just like regular workouts make our body stronger by building muscle, regular meditation can increase IQ by increasing the thickness of the cortex in areas involved in attention, awareness, and thought!
14. Higher Self-Confidence
Meditation can help us to overcome moments of self-doubt and boost our self-esteem. Because meditation helps us stop the flow of negative thoughts, get in touch with our inner selves, and care less about other people’s opinions and criticism, it can be a great way to perceive the world more positively and holistically.
15. Enhanced Emotional Resilience
Regular practitioners of meditation say they feel greater emotional equilibrium. Just by taking a small amount of your daily time to meditate, you can find an escape from your everyday worries, become more relaxed, more patient, and more peaceful.
16. Improved Decision-Making Skills
When we feel overtired, overwhelmed or stressed out, the brain bypasses rational thinking and starts using more primitive stimuli-response pathways, which are responsible for emotions like fear, anger, and anxiety.
Consequently, we respond to daily demands without thinking, making impulsive, short sighted decisions.
Meditation practice provides the experience of “restful alertness,” while helping us regain purposeful thinking and farsighted decision-making.
17. Enhanced Productivity
This probably doesn’t come as a shock to you – if meditation improves focus, creativity, decision-making skills and intelligence, it increases our performance at work, allowing us to express our talents and abilities fully.
18. Better Relationships
Research shows that we can improve our relationship with managers and co-workers after just 11 months of meditation. People who meditate frequently also feel less anxiety about promotions and their fellow employees tend to perceive them as productive and upwardly-mobile.
19. More Happiness
Is there anybody who doesn’t want happiness?
Meditation is the fastest way to learn that happiness is not dependent on outer circumstances, but on attitude. When we still our minds and accept every moment of our life (without judgment or regret), we discover a source of happiness, tranquility, and love within us.
The more we meditate, the better and happier our lives become, not because people around us change, not because circumstances change – but because we change.
20. A Sense of Purpose
Usually, we search for meaning in life through external events and other people, instead of looking deep inside our heart for the answers to the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”
When we meditate, we let go of our egos and false expectations. We start to live a life of purpose and the doubts slowly disappear.
The Case for Meditation
If you still have doubts about whether meditation is right for you, consider this – it can be practiced anywhere, at any moment, by people of all religions, ages, and traditions. It is free, requires no special equipment, is easy to learn, and takes only 15-20 minutes per day!
If you are not meditating yet, the one question you should ask yourself is “Why not?”
Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. Many times the content is not written by a single author, instead it is usually a team effort.