Community//

3 Proven Benefits of Meditation; Mind, Body, and Soul

Learning how to leverage such a basic practice as meditation for all its advantages can help to boost the quality of life greatly.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus, and awareness. Meditation is to the mind what physical exercise is to the body. The practice is usually done individually, in a still seated position, and with eyes closed.

However, there are other forms of meditation that involve a person being in different resting positions.

Numerous studies have proven the benefits of meditation. Since meditation involves training the mind to focus and redirect an individual’s thoughts, most of its advantages are mental. However, a convincing amount of scientific evidence shows that meditation can have far-reaching physical health gains.  Since meditation can easily evoke a sense of balance, peace and calm, which results in increased energy , it can be considered as an important constituent of one’s cardio protective attempt to reduce heart conditions.Meditation can also reduce unhealthy feelings like anger, depression, anxiety, among others. 

Although there are different types of meditation, they all offer the following mental, emotional, and physical benefits.

Meditation can be practiced in any of these modes:

Concentration: This mode, also called focused attention meditation is practiced by focusing attention on a single object, internally or externally.

Observation: Also known as open monitoring meditation, this mode involves paying attention to whatever is predominant in your experience at the present moment. It is practiced without allowing a person’s attention to get fixed on any particular thing.

Awareness: By allowing awareness to remain in the present moment, a meditator’s, undistracted attention is not engaged in either focusing or observing

How important is meditation?

Regular meditation leads to neuroplasticity in the brain
  • It helps to relax the body and induce sleep
  • Meditation has been proven to control stress and anxiety
  • Increases attention span and concentration levels
  • May help fight addictions
  • Meditation promotes general body fitness

Let us delve deeper into these and more benefits within the confines of mental, emotional and physical health.

Effect of Meditation on Mental Health

For decades now, sleep specialists have been combining mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) to treat sleep disorders. This practice has been popularized as nature’s way to relieve anyone from use of sleeping pills. Meditation for relaxation has been used in Asiatic cultures for centuries and is being accepted into modern science. 

A recent study found that practicing meditation for as few as four days may be sufficient to boost a person’s attention span. During mindfulness meditation, focusing on the present trains the mind to concentrate. When the process is repeated, neuroplasticity causes the brain to develop enhanced concentration over a long period of time. 

Meditation and Emotional Health

Yoga, a type of meditation, has been shown to help people reduce anxiety. Clinical trials conducted on more than 3,000 individuals in 2019 revealed that yogic meditation brings down the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, mindfulness meditation aids in mood elevation in as little as 5 minutes. 

By inhibiting the release of inflammation-promoting chemicals called cytokines, meditation is effective against post-traumatic stress disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia—all of which are symptoms of stress and anxiety. The emotional health benefits of meditation might have been the very first advantages of the practice to be discovered as far back as 5,000 BCE.

How Meditation Promotes Physical Health

Other activities that go hand in hand with meditation add to its efficacy. For instance, repeating a mantra during meditation has been found to elicit a calming effect. The physical activity involved in yogic meditation practices not only promotes general body fitness, it also works and relaxes important muscles located deep in the human body.

Many people who practice any of the different types of meditation report being more self-conscious after taking up the activity. This self-awareness raises a person’s self-esteem, a process that is marked by other beneficial habits as healthy eating and positive thinking.

Conclusion

The fact that meditation is effective against emotional and mental issues has made the practice preferable among healthcare professionals looking for natural alternatives to antidepressants. Learning how to leverage such a basic practice as meditation for all its advantages can help to boost quality of life greatly. Taking a few minutes from the day to meditate is sufficient for anyone looking to reap all these benefits.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    health benefits of meditation
    Community//

    Health Benefits of Meditation

    by Luke
    ways to relieve stress and anxiety
    Community//

    Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety [31 Helpful Tips]

    by Luke
    Community//

    Finding Your Zen in Your Daily Life

    by Jade Pulman

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.