Meditation is becoming much more popular as more people discover its many health benefits. You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings, control your daily activity, and build awareness of what is happening in your life. Many people use meditation as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration. Following are five benefits it can offer in a busy lifestyle.
Helps reduce stress
Stress reduction is one of the most common reasons people try to meditate. 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 inflammatory chemicals called cytokines.
These effects can disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure, and contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking. In a recent 8-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress.
Furthermore, research has shown that meditation may also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia
Meditation Helps You Construct a Clear Picture in Your Mind
When your mind is clear and your body is relaxed, you can more easily tap into your imagination to visualize images and ideas. Meditation and visualization have the power to teach and heal. Visualization is one method of using the mind to influence the body.
Building a clear image in your mind can be difficult for many of us, but it becomes much easier when you’re in a meditative state.
Whether you’re building the mental image all of your own or moving through a guided practice, meditation can help you reach the powerful outer limits of your imagination — as you focus on your desired image without distraction.
Meditation can reduce stress levels, which translates to less anxiety. A meta-analysis including nearly 1,300 adults found that meditation may decrease anxiety. Notably, this effect was strongest in those with the highest levels of anxiety).
Participation in a meditation program has led to noticeable improvements in depression, anxiety, and pain within a short period of time. What’s more, research also suggests that a variety of mindfulness and meditation exercises may reduce anxiety levels.
For example, yoga has been shown to help people reduce anxiety. This is likely due to benefits from both meditative practice and physical activity.
Meditation may also help control job-related anxiety, improving feelings of well-being and decreased distress and job strain.
Reduce age-related memory loss
Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young.
It has been found in preliminary evidence that there are a number of ways to meditate, and these various styles can increase attention, memory, and mental quickness in older volunteers. In addition to fighting normal age-related memory loss, meditation can at least partially improve memory in patients with dementia. It can likewise help control stress and improve coping in those caring for family members with dementia.
Improves your Intuition
When you start using meditation, you’ll begin to notice something extraordinary…Your connection with your higher Self and source energy will grow stronger. You’ll begin to receive ideas for inspired action that guide you along the path of what you desire most.
And when these ideas pop into your mind? You’ll intuitively identify them as divine guidance — and you’ll have a better understanding of how to move toward whatever you’re manifesting.
As you continue with your meditation practice, you’ll begin to spot signs that you are on the right path — as well as signs of love and encouragement.
These sparks of divine guidance may or may not appear during your meditation practice. You may not even receive inspired thought until you’re moving through your day, hours later.
Meditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health. You can do it anywhere, without special equipment or memberships.
Alternatively, meditation courses and support groups are widely available. There’s a great variety of styles too, each with different strengths and benefits.
Finding a way to meditate that is suited to your goals is a great way to improve your quality of life, even if you only have a few minutes to do it each day.