Meditation has been practiced for many decades, which provides extravagant outcomes for a good reason. Not only can it help reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also have a profound impact on your physical and mental health.
There are many uncountable benefits of performing meditation, which is a healthy lifestyle option. Also read about the Boost Your Energy – 5 Effective Strategies and get benefitted.
Here are 8 ways meditation can improve your brain and body:
Reduces stress and anxiety
Meditation can reduce stress by promoting relaxation and reducing the activity in the parts of the brain that is responsible for stress and anxiety. It also helps lower cortisol levels (a hormone associated with stress) and increases serotonin levels (associated with happiness and well-being).
Regular meditation can also improve emotional regulation and increase mindfulness, allowing individuals to manage stress in their daily lives better.
Improves concentration and focus
Meditation improves concentration by strengthening the neural connections in the brain involved in these functions and reducing stress and anxiety, which can be a significant distraction.
In addition, it can enhance your ability to pay attention and remain focused on the task at hand. Thus, regular meditation can improve your ability to focus and concentrate, making it easier to complete tasks and be productive.
Increases feelings of happiness
Meditation has been shown to increase activity, where it is responsible for empathy and compassion, making you more attuned to the emotions of others. Therefore, by practicing meditation regularly, you may experience an overall increase in well-being and happiness.
It can also help cultivate greater awareness and appreciation of the present moment, leading to more significant gratitude and contentment.
Reduces inflammation in the body
Several studies have shown that meditation can lead to decreased physiological stress, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. For example, in a study, mindfulness meditation has been found to impact changes in the brain’s functional connectivity, reducing inflammation.
Additionally, there is evidence that mind-body practices such as meditation can drain the activity of genes associated with inflammation, essentially reversing the damage caused by stress.
While the exact biological mechanisms underlying the effects of meditation on inflammation are not yet fully understood, the available research suggests that it may be an effective intervention for reducing inflammation in the body.
Helps with addiction and substance abuse
Meditation is a helpful tool in treating addiction and substance abuse. According to an article by Addiction Center, meditation has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress while improving concentration, mood, creativity, and attention. In addition, a study by Harvard Heath shows that mindfulness-based interventions can reduce substance use and are associated with a reduction in cravings and the risk of relapse.
In part, mindfulness-based approaches for substance abuse treatment attempt to lower the impact of negative affect and improve distress tolerance, which is thought to be a trigger for substance use.
Boosts the immune system
Research studies have shown that meditation can boost the immune system. A study by the University of Florida found that eight days of intense meditation causes robust immune system activation, which is the first comprehensive study of how meditation affects the biological processes directly involved in disease development.
There are several theories to this; a particular view on mindfulness is that meditation helps reduce stress and inflammation, which can lead to improved immune function. Another approach is that mindfulness meditation helps reduce the tendency towards reflective thinking that can activate the stress pathway, and promotes a sense of calmness in one’s thoughts, decreasing reactivity to stressful stimuli.
Lowers blood pressure
Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure in those with hypertension, reducing their heart disease and stroke risk.
Excess stress can raise blood pressure to an unhealthy level, and meditation can reduce blood pressure, even in people with hypertension.
The relaxation response, the opposite of the stress-induced fight-or-flight response, is a self-induced quieting of brain activity and includes aspects of both transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation.
Improves sleep quality
Practicing meditation can help improve the quality of your sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. According to research, meditation can reduce pain sensitivity, change our perception of discomfort, and improve control of the autonomic nervous system.
Additionally, mindfulness meditation interventions significantly improved sleep quality compared with nonspecific active controls at post-intervention and follow-up. Furthermore, meditation can improve mood, relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and increase sleep quality.
On the whole, the benefits of meditation are numerous and wide-ranging. Whether you want to improve your physical and mental well-being or reduce stress and anxiety, including routine meditation practice leads to promoting a healthier and happier life.