Over the recent years, the number of people practising meditation has increased tremendously. The practice with root in Asia is quickly spreading all over the world. Although it was initially associate it with spirituality, recent studies indicate that it has numerous health benefits. It’s these health benefits that have created excitement that people about this practice. But despite its popularity, very few people actually understand the real meaning of meditation. That’s why a majority of those who join this practice never get to enjoy the numerous benefits associated with it.
What Is Meditation?
Various terms have been used to define meditation, but most of them do not capture its true nature. But it’s important to know that there is no universal definition of meditation that has for been agreed upon. The broadness of this practice has made it extremely difficult to come up with one clear definition. Most of the definitions are provided on how that individual applied meditation. In some books, it is defined as a state of thoughtless awareness or heightened state of consciousness. Other books define it as a state of consciousness when your mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns. But one common in all definitions is the term “state of mind”. The practice focuses on the transforming the state of the meditator’s minds to improve their physical and mental health.
Meditation and Human Health
The most interesting discoveries about meditation are the impact it has on the overall health of observer. In this case, “observer” is the one who is doing meditation. Research shows that meditation can help you improve your health significantly. Science is also showing that by captivating a heightened state of consciousness can have a significant impact on the brain, how the body functions and also the levels of resilience. Numerous studies have shown that meditating regularly can rewrite the neural matter in the brain and even increase the grey matter.
With such information, clinicians are increasingly looking for non-pharmacological, preventive and effective ways if treating mental illness. At the centre of this is the meditation technique such as self and exercising control approach. According to the recorded made by most of the clinicians working with this technique, it shows positive results in regulating stress, mood and stress. Here are the different ways that meditation affects the overall human health.
Benefits of Meditation to the Body
This technique has shown incredible benefits in improving the overall health of the body. According to various studies, an experienced meditator can slow or speed their metabolism rate by more than by 60%. They can also have their body temperature raised to some degree. With 20 minutes of meditation daily, you can bring about significant physical changes, such as lower heart rate, reduced blood pressure and calmer breathing. It is important to note that reduced blood pressure will lower the risk of heart attack. Meditators suffering from chronic and acute pain have also experienced substantial pain reduction.
Benefits of Meditation for the Mind and Brain
The greatest health benefits of meditation have a lot to do with the mind and the brain. According to various studies, meditation can increase the frontal brain activity. This is an area of the human brain that is associated with positive mood. So, by meditating more, you will be improving the levels of positive moods in the body and reducing stress and other associated mental disorders.
As mentioned above, meditators have also shown an increment in the volume of grey matter in the brain. This increase is seen in the hippocampus and the orbitofrontal cortex which is the parts of the brain that regulates emotions. This is the main reason that has made medical experts believe that the technique is useful in treating psychological conditions such as the stress.
It has also been proven scientifically that increment left-brain activity can improve immune system activities. Thus the more you practice, the greater your Immunity is likely to improve.
Benefits of Meditation to the Ageing
Meditation has been founded to help the elderly fight most of the chronic diseases associated with old age. As the person ages, the cortex in the brain usually thins, and this causes severe conditions such as Alzheimer. But with meditation, this is not the case. Studies have shown that older meditators who have practised at least an hour in six years have shown increased cortical thickness. Interestingly, older meditators have shown a significant improvement in age-related decline in cortical thickness.
Apart from that, older meditators have their brain and heart protected from effects of chronic psychological stress. These are some of the chronic problems that a majority of the elderly grapples with daily. By making meditation a lifestyle, they can mitigate this without medication.
Reasons Why You Should Meditate
Meditating is good for your health. It’s one of the practices that can bring about improved physical and mental health with medication. By improving the state of mind, there are numerous health benefits that you’ll enjoy. Here are some of the main reasons why you should meditate.
1. You’ll Become More Mindful and Aware
By practising, you’ll be able to make rational decisions. With the heightened state of awareness, you will not find yourself make decisions that are not well though. Psychologists have shown that patients under meditation are more aware of their actions and emotions.
2. Increased Focus and Discipline
Discipline is a key aspect of meditation. You will be training your mind on how to stay focus on one thing only at a time. You will be able to focus on a specific task. It has been shown that people who meditation are not easily deviated or distracted from what they are doing. This is a great practice for students, particularly studying for exams.
3. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
With the increment in the volume of grey matter in the brain, it is possible to reduce stress and anxiety. Through meditation, it has been proved that the grey matter in the brain is significantly increased. This is what reduces stress and anxiety levels.
4. Makes You Physically Healthier
Meditators are known for sleeping better; they have lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and they rarely get sick. This is the perfect environment that your physical body requires to thrive. With proper, your muscles will be replenished among other benefits. This is what makes them physically healthier than their counterpart.
5. Increased Memory
With meditation, you will be trained how to focus and remove garbage from your thought pattern. This will free up the meditator’s mind giving room for what is important. The increment in the grey matter volume in the body will also increase your memory capacity and cognitive power.
6. Emotional Stability
Meditation is all about training your mind to focus. It has also been found to improve the health of the brain, particularly emotional controlling part of the brain. If you have a problem with controlling your emotions, maybe you get angry easily, then this is what you need. You will be trained by regulated and control your emotions.
7. Increased Ability to Empathise With Others
Meditation is all about positivity. It helps your brain to respond to situations positively no matter how bad they could be. This is what will make you more empathetic to people who could be going through tough time. This will help you to bond with other people.
8. Treatment for Insomnia
Insomnia is a condition that the patient finds it difficult to get sleep. It’s also defined as the inability to sleep. It’s condition caused by bombarding thoughts in your mind and mostly negative or frustrating thoughts. This usually results in depression, anxiety and depression making it difficult to sleep. With meditation, you will be able to clear these thoughts to get quality sleep.
With meditation, you will be able to build incredible self-confidence. You will become more aware of what your thoughts and emotions dictate. You will build trust in yourself and this way; you will not need external validation of what you want or what you’ve done.
10. Source of Inspiration
It is believed that most of the use only 1% of our brains. This is the percentage that can be controlled physically. It is believed that 99% of human intelligence resides in the subconscious mind. With meditation, you can unlock this intelligence and get greatly inspired to do wonderful things.
These are just a few of the benefits associated with meditation; more health benefits that can be derived from this practice. It’s not age limited and this you can start with it at any time. You can train your children from an early age, and the results will be incredible. You can also start practising it at any age; particularly it’s more beneficial to the elderly. More studies and researches are being carried to find out more about meditation and the impact it has on the body. Scientists believe that there are more medical benefits, particularly in treating chronic psychological disorders. Create time in your busy schedule to meditate, and you will be impressed with the result.