6 simple benefits of meditation
A habitual process, mediation helps to train the mind to be more focussed by redirecting thoughts. Many people use meditation techniques to increase self-awareness. Some people use mediation as a way to alleviate stress and increase concentration levels. Whatever be the purpose of mediation, the process comes with a lot of benefits. Here are some of the well-known benefits of mediation and how it affects the brain.
- Improves sleep cycle
Nearly everyone suffers from insomnia once in a while. Some experience a persistent lack of sleep. The reasons for a disrupted sleep cycle can be severe stress, anxiety, and worrying. Often racing thoughts and severe emotional distress can also cause insomnia. Medication helps in dealing with insomnia. However, by focusing all thoughts, meditation can be beneficial in controlling racing and runaway thoughts. Moreover, it will release the tension and help the mind and body relax, leading to improved sleep quality. Those who meditate often have better REM sleep and tend to fall asleep in a shorter time.
- Reduced perception of pain
Everyone’s brain perceives pain with different intensities. However, when one is extremely stressed out or anxious, one’s perception of pain may be higher than usual. Pain receptors are directly linked to the emotional state of mind. When one incorporates regular meditation in their everyday routines, it can be effective in controlling pain sensations. With mindfulness meditation, pain can be alleviated. Moreover, the quality of life also improves. Those who suffer from chronic pain may find meditation useful as it lowers the risk of depression. Those who meditate have been known to develop higher tolerance towards physical pain.
- Improved concentration levels
Mindfulness meditation increases the ability to focus on the present. It is similar to weight-lifting, but for the brain. This can improve concentration levels required for the other tasks in everyday life. According to research, mindfulness is linked to one’s ability to process new information. It gives a boost to emotional regulation, memory, and learning ability. Moreover, this can help in reversing patterns of worrying and wandering minds. All of this can give more clarity, allowing greater decision-making capability. Meta-awareness and attention can be trained through mindfulness meditation and focused-attention meditation.
- Lower risk of age-associated memory loss
With meditation, there is improvement in attention. In addition, there is improved clarity of thought. A form of meditation that involves repeating a chant or mantra has been known to improve neuropsychological performance. Along with chanting, the meditating process also involves repetitive motions of the fingers. This helps to focus thoughts. Moreover, different forms of meditation have been known to boost memory, attention, and mental agility, especially in older adults. Along with slowing down age-related memory loss, meditating can help to control stress that is often a major contributor to memory loss.
- Better management of depression and anxiety
Dwelling on anxious thoughts is one of the major factors contributing to depression. With mindfulness meditation, the mind can be trained to focus on the present. Practicing mindfulness over a longer duration can alleviate anxiety. It also helps in easing symptoms of depression. In many cases, meditation is often a part of comprehensive mental health treatment plans. From correcting troubled sleeping patterns, appetite loss, and moodiness, mindfulness-based mediation can go a long way in making it easier to manage anxiety and depression.
- Better self-esteem
Mindfulness and meditation encourage a person to slow down. These practices help to follow deeper self-reflection. Along the way, a person gains the ability to discover positive attributes about themselves. A person is able to examine their feelings, emotions, and thoughts without any judgment. This boosts self-awareness. It also helps in improving social anxiety symptoms. All of these help in gaining a better sense of self-esteem.