6 benefits of meditation
Now meditation is not just some strange “hippy thing”. It has become very popular in the recent years, and for a good reason. This practice can help with everything from getting over stress to staving off a potentially fatal heart attack. Find at least 15 to 30 minutes a day to shut out the world. Here are 6 of the most compelling benefits of meditation.
1. It can make you more productive
According to a study in the journal Emotion, mindfulness, a meditative practice that requires you to sit quietly for a few minutes focusing on your breathing and other specific physical sensations without letting your mind wander, was very effective in improving people’s working memory.Just find 12 minutes per day to do this meditation, and you’ll see the impressive results.
2. It’s good for moody teenagers
During the research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, psychologists found that deep breathing and relaxation improved high-school students’ moods. What an effective way to cope with all those hormonal mood swingsand the teenage drama!
3. It’s better than painkillers
A particular type of meditation called Zen (the form of meditation, which Buddhist monks likes a lot)thickens the part of the brain that regulates pain, and that thickening of the brain lowers your sensitivity to it. It’s similar to mindfulness meditation, but you focus on breathing and posture while trying to keep your mind from wandering.
4. It’ll keep you happy
Meditation can help fight the nasty side effects of multiple sclerosis, which include fatigue and depression. Multiple studies say that meditation can help people deal with depression, partially because those people learn how to avoid focusing on negative thoughts. Researchers in Wisconsin have found that people who meditate have more electrical activity in the brain’s left prefrontal cortex – an area associated with positive mood.
5. It fights hot flashes
Mindfulness meditation might help women handle menopause symptoms, including hot flashes or night sweats.
6. It helps with heart problems
Both Zen and Transcendental (when you let your mind go free and ‘transcend’ the present by repeating a mantra over and over again) meditation are effective stress-relievers, so your cardiovascular system will benefit from any practice that reduces stress. Zen aids to improve blood circulation and breathing by helping counteract stress arousal and anxiety. And Transcendental meditation might even save your life: according to a study presented at a previous American Heart Association annual meeting, Transcendental meditation produced lower rates of heart attacks and strokes by 50%.