You may have heard that meditation is good for you. There is a chance people have told you that it is important to relax the body and mind; that it is one of the best ways to reduce stress. The problem is meditation can seem a little old-fashioned and almost witchy. You are not sure if it does help you overcome your mental health problems.
Meditation has been around for centuries. It was extremely popular in the Eastern World before it made its way into Western society. There are now many medical professions who recommend doing meditation on a daily basis to help. You can even incorporate some yoga into it.
However, is that a good enough reason to do it? Because some doctors have suggested it? Of course, you want to see scientific proof that it is good for you. Here is a look at five reasons completely backed by science to do meditation.
Improve Your Mental Health Tenfold
One of the biggest reasons to start meditating is for the support your mental health gains. This is one of the main reasons people consider meditation, with the rest of the benefits helping them stick with the plan. Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of meditation can help to improve your whole mental health and outlook on life.
First, you are less likely to stress. Meditation involves deep breathing and emptying the mind. You do not think of “nothing,” but you help to release the worries that have built up throughout the day. It is possible to become one with yourself again. You can look deeper within yourself and find what matters to you.
The breathing process also helps with the reduction of the stress you feel. Studies show that meditation helps to override your fear mechanism within the brain. Your brain physically stops releasing the stress hormone known as cortisol. This is the hormone that boosts your adrenaline and can make you anxious or worried. Cortisol affects your whole healthy negatively if you continually get too much of it (a little is normal and health).
Cortisol is one of the reasons people suffer from depression. Just 30 minutes of meditation has proven the ability to reduce cortisol and the release of happy hormones. When you feel less anxious and pain, you can improve the positive feelings in your life. It is possible to improve symptoms of depression and even prevent future onsets of the mental health condition.
Meditation can also help to prevent negative thoughts taking over. You start focusing on the good things in life, which encourages you to pay attention to the positives and instantly makes you feel better.
The negative emotions affect you mentally in other ways too. Many people with eating disorders have mental health problems. Moreover, you do not need to have bulimia or anorexia to have an eating disorder. It can start with bad eating habits. You may fall into the habit of snacking on junk to help feel better, but you are just fuelling the negative emotions. By meditating, you get rid of the negative feelings naturally. There is not this need to eat to curb the negative emotions, so you do not end up in a disastrous cycle.
You will also banish the feeling of burnout. If you are constantly rushed off your feet and do not feel like you have any time for yourself, you end up hating your life. Depression and other mental issues are common. Burnout leaves you feeling unhappy with your life. You can start to pull away from relationships and struggle to see the positives.
Meditation gives you the time to focus on yourself. Even just 30 minutes of meditating will boost your positive emotions to help alleviate the feeling of exhaustion and burnout. You will be ready to tackle the world and get on with your day. Therefore starting or ending your day with meditation can be beneficial.
Finally, the mental health benefits will help to improve your sleep. Stress hormones prevent your brain from shutting off. Many people start worrying about the events of the day and running through their plans for tomorrow. Insomnia becomes a major concern, which just makes your mental health issues worse.
When you meditate, you reduce the amount of cortisol in your body. It is easier to handle the tricky situations and not let them have a permanent effect on your life. Sleep is much easier to come by, and you will have a more restful sleep on a night. By feeling more rested, you are ready to get on with the tasks the next day, do not feel the effects of burnout as much, and will find depression symptoms are somewhat alleviated.
Improve Your Physical Health
It is not just your mental health that is affected by meditation. You can also find that your physical health is improved. By reducing the cortisol, you reduce all the other negative hormones in the body. It is easier for your body to release the positive emotions.
Getting your hormones back in sync is essential for your immune system. It is easier for the immune system to fight against issues within the body. You can overcome minor colds sooner than you would if you had a backlog of negative emotions.
Of course, the extra sleep also helps. When you are well rested, your body works more efficiently. Those who are exhausted and suffering from burnout are more likely to suffer from common colds. The body working on fumes and every element of your health is affected. This becomes a cycle, so by getting a better night’s sleep, you will have a better immune system. Better immunity means you will feel better within yourself and you will see less cortisol in your body for a better night’s sleep.
Remember that you get more positive hormones. One of those positive hormones is a pain killing one known as endorphins. Scientists have also found that meditation helps to thicken the brain, where the pain is regulated. The brain stashes the sensitivity to things and reminds you of how something felt on the nerves.
It is possible to overcome a dependency on pain killers. You can reduce the need to take them for chronic pain, as well as for one-off issues.
Moreover, you will get rid of headaches. Meditation helps to improve the oxygen passing through the body and will ease the tension in muscles.
Finally, your physical health is benefitted from your heart. Studies have shown that those who have coronary heart disease can reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke by meditating. This is linked to the improved oxygen flow around the body. Your muscles relax, you are less likely to comfort eat, and you can improve the health of your arteries. Not only will your mental health feel younger, but your physical health will seem younger.
There is also the benefit that you get more out of your workout, which will help your heart health. When you go on a run or do a HIIT workout, you will put more effort in. You want those results. Studies show that stress levels affect our ability to do exercises well. When you feel more positive, it is easier to put the effort in, and you want to do well. You will sweat more and get more blood pumping through your body. Your heart must do more work, and this is a good thing. The heart is a muscle that needs to be regularly trained.
You are more likely to take on more challenges in your workout too. You want to see yourself improved and feel positive that you can improve. This will help you lose more weight, feel better about yourself, and continue with the good work.
Help to Fix Your Relationships
Do you find yourself cranky and grouchy all the time? Are your relationships with others struggling? Maybe people view you as having a short fuse, or you do not speak to people enough for them to get to know you. Your temper may even get the better of you.
Well, it is a meditation to the rescue. Studies have shown that your relationships will also be healed using this practice.
Let’s just look at your mood swings. When your cortisol levels are high, your whole body is affected. All your emotions are out of sync, and you can become far more irritable. Moreover, let’s not forget that you feel more pain and are more likely to struggle with depression symptoms and anxiety. The last thing you want is to be nice to people you do not like or talk to those you are not too certain about.
Well, studies have shown that meditation helps to improve empathy. You will find it easier to connect with them and listen to them. Being nicer will help to develop your relationships with other people. You will find it easier to keep calm in situations, meaning people are not turned off by your outbursts. Your colleagues and friends are more likely to come to you when there is an issue, and significant others are not likely to run with fear.
By feeling more positive about yourself, you are also more likely to go out with friends. It is easier to enjoy yourself, and you want to laugh with friends. When there are issues with friends and relatives, you will be in a better mood to negotiate, and problem solve. This helps others see that you are willing to work with them and they are more likely to appreciate you more. Studies show meditation can help to reduce hostility while improving the mood.
Your romantic relationships can also be improved. Women who meditate are aroused easier and to a higher level. Your sex life will improve, which will help to improve the connection to your partner. You will have more satisfaction during and after intercourse, which will naturally help to boost your mood and increase those endorphins in the body.
Improve Your Cognitive Abilities
Your brain will also get a better workout when you meditate. You are not just going to improve your mental health but the physical health of the brain.
We have already looked at how the brain’s thickness is improved. You end up feeling less sensitivity, so pain does not feel as bad. However, that is not the only way your brain health is improved. Your cognitive functions are boosted. The connections will work better, making it easier to pass messages around the body.
One of the most important cognitive functions improved through meditation is the memory. Step away from the use of sticky notes to remind you of everything going on. The connections to the memory get more blood flow, helping to make it easier for both store and recall events. This has a knock-on effect on your mental health. The more you memory, the better you feel about yourself.
Brain fog can also be a thing of the past. Studies show that it is easier to feel more alert throughout the day.
To start, you have had more sleep on a night. However, that is not the only benefit. The extra blood flow will help you wake up sooner in the day and remain awake through the day. Events do not seem as cloudy, and you do not feel like you are walking around in a haze.
Improving cognitive functions will help you get more done through the day. It is easier to multitask, remember things you need to do, and improve mental awareness. Everything in your life will benefit.
Boost Your School and Job Efforts
With all the benefits above, it is easy to see how your schooling and job efforts will improve thanks to meditation. Just by meditating for 30 minutes, you improve your state of mind. You get away from the negative thoughts and release an inner passion and creativity.
Creativity is more than drawing a beautiful picture or telling an interesting story. You can see a new way to solve problems in the office. Thinking outside the box will go a long way. It is easier to gain those promotions and show how important you are to the business. Your school work will seem easier, as you find a more creative way to get on with tasks and achieve goals.
Studies show that meditation helps to improve ways of finding solutions to problems. Rather than worrying about the situation, you focus on how to overcome them.
Of course, then there is the benefit to your job and schooling because of your cognitive improvement. Remembering information is much easier, so you will boost your grade average. One study showed improving the GPA was possible with just four meditation sessions lasting just 20 minutes each. Your attention span is also improved, according to study results. Not only do you remember better, but you will take more in.
When it comes to working, you feel better about the tasks you do. It is easier to multitask in the office, which means you can be more productive and get more done. The better you feel about work, the more confident you are in the tasks you do. Your boss will see the positives in having you around.
Still not sure about meditating? Think it is something only a fool would do? The benefits above are all backed by science, showing you that this is one of the best things for you. Not only will it improve your mental health, but also your physical and relationship health.