The popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its benefits. Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration. People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance.
This article is an effort to understand why meditation works so well and how we can resort to its benefits for becoming a better version of ourselves.
Workout and physical exercise may not be enough to gain ideal fitness. Many scientists, nutritionists, and researchers of allied health sciences have indicated that the pathway to fitness lies in holistic lifestyle modification – including nutritious food, physical workout, yoga, and meditation regularly.
Psychologists agree that the primary goal of fitness is to get the mind and body function equally well. If our minds are clouded with negative and stressful contemplations, there are very poor chances of us benefitting from any workout regime.
Thorough meditation helps in clearing the limiting thoughts and self-beliefs and providing a continuous supply of motivation to the brain and body to keep going.
Normally, mental and physical stress cause increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This produces many of the harmful effects of stress, such as the release of inflammation-promoting chemicals called cytokines. These effects can disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking. In an eight-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress. Nearly 1,300 adults demonstrated that meditation may decrease stress. Notably, this effect was strongest in individuals with the highest levels of stress. Meditation may also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia.
Meditation increases attention by inducing a state of flow
Have you noticed how meditation absorbs you into the moment? Mindful awareness comes naturally to us when we meditate, and we reach ‘flow’ state where our mind is in complete harmony with itself. A study on the effects of an eight-week mindful meditation course found that people who are regular meditation practitioners had heightened attention and concentration span. Even people who meditated for short durations showed more focus than individuals who did not meditate at all.
Meditation enhances empathy
Loving-kindness or compassion meditation fires neural connections to brain sites that regulate positive emotions like empathy and kindness. The deep state of flow that meditation induces builds social connectedness and make us more affectionate and amicable as a person.
May Reduce Age-Related Memory Loss
Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young.
Kirtan Kriya is a method of meditation that combines a mantra or chant with repetitive motion of the fingers to focus thoughts. It improved participants’ ability to perform memory tasks in multiple studies of age-related memory loss. In addition to fighting normal age-related memory loss, meditation can at least partially improve memory in patients with dementia. It can also help control stress and improve coping in those caring for family members with dementia.
Helps with Insomnnia
Meditation increases blood circulation helping muscles to relax. The practice of mindfulness and meditation brings your mind to the present moment. This daily practice will help you to let go of the stresses of the day and the challenges of tomorrow. When you experience stress, the adrenal glands are working overtime to produce adrenaline. A relaxed body stops the release of adrenaline and other hormones that keep you awake. With consistent meditation practice, you will see experience deeper sleep very quickly.