If you saw my 10 Little Habits To Practice Self Love post, you’ll have seen that I also have been trying to practice meditation as often as possible.
I’ve been trying to get into meditation for almost 6 years now – since I started seeing doctors and counsellors about my panic attacks and anxiety. I remember it being a teacher who first recommended meditation to me – although they referred to it as “breathing through it” when I was having a hard time in school, and since then I’ve had multiple counsellors and doctors recommend it to me.
Honestly, I didn’t really get it back then.
I’ve never been very good at clearing my mind, and I’ve never really got the point of sitting and breathing for 10 minutes when the world stops for nobody and there’s so much to do.
Thankfully I’ve since matured a little bit and it turns out that basically, nobody is good at meditating when they first start – it’s a practice, it takes time and effort to improve.
There’s too many types of meditation to talk about in this post (if you’re interested I’ll happily write a fresh post on that in future), but for now, the most common types are listed on Visual Meditation.
Personally I practice mostly transcendental meditation, but I often also practice with guided meditation and have recently dipped my toe into the Kundalini pool. I also use moving meditations like Yoga.
To track all of this, I use Insight Timer -it has thousands of chanting meditations, musical meditations, guided meditations, or simply just the timer feature if you want to go it alone. There’s also a pretty cool social side where you can join groups.
But this post isn’t about what I do personally – it’s about what you can gain. So without further ado, here are 30 benefits to regular meditation!
- Stress reduction
- Increases your ability to manage your emotions
- Increases your ability to concentrate
- Can increase your memory and retention of information
- Increases self-awareness
- Has been shown to increase activity in the prefrontal cortex, home of positive emotions
- Relaxation induces the release of nitric oxide which can lower blood pressure
- Can help to control emotional eating + other harmful habits linked to stress
- Can ease symptoms of anxiety + depression…
- …And can also regulate some of the long term effects of anxiety
- Research is starting to show potential increase of grey matter which aids concentration in regular practitioners
- Reduces the act of “getting stuck” on particular stimuli
- Increases ability to work in pressurised situations
- Increases creativity
- Can increase decision making
- Can increase attention span when focusing on one task
- The reduction of stress in meditators can support immunity – less stress = less getting sick.
- Can increase cardio health by reducing heart rate and blood pressure while lowering release of harmful hormones
- Can also assist the reduction of heart attacks and strokes if practised with healthy diet and exercise
- Decreases inflammation which is linked to disease
- Increases activity in the area of the brain responsible for altruism and empathy
- Beneficial for building self-awareness and emotional stability in children
- Increases compassion
- Improves sleep by reducing stress and hormones associated with disordered sleep
- Improves ability to multitask
- Increases self-love and benefits self esteem
- Reduces loneliness
- Can increase academic performance through stress management and ability to focus
- Increases productivioty by developing foxus and concentration
- Can assist in the healing of Psoriasis along with light therapy.
- Meditation offers significant heart benefits – Harvard
- Mindfulness Meditation Linked To The Reduction of Key Inflammation Marker – ScienceAlert
- How Does Meditation Reduce Anxiety At A Neural Level? – Psychology Today
- Curing Depression With Mindfulness Meditation
- Meditation For Children – Healthy Children
- Meditation Reduces Loneliness – UCLA
- Focused attention, open monitoring, & loving kindness meditation: effects on attention, conflict monitoring and creativity – NCBI
- Mindfulness meditation, as an intervention for binge eating, emotional eating and weight loss – NCBI
- 76 Scientific Benefits of Meditation – references over 100 studies into meditation for emotion, learning and mental performance and physical health.