Meditating brings a relaxed state to your mind and body almost immediately. Yet many of us do not make it a priority to meditate regularly. In addition to relaxing your mind and body, meditation has numerous science-backed benefits, some of which occur even when you’re not meditating. See the benefits on the next page and begin your meditation practice today!
Do you meditate regularly? If so, you’re doing yourself so much good! If not, the benefits listed below will convince you to begin your meditation practice:
1. Ditch depression.
Research suggests that 30 minutes of meditation improves depression symptoms (along with anxiety and pain). In fact, the practice could possibly prevent depression and pain altogether—scientists discovered that people who meditate may have more control over how their brains process and pay attention to negative sensations (like pain) and negative thoughts (like depression triggers).
2. Stress less.
Nix those nail-biting moments already. When you meditate, you’re able to override a part of the brain responsible for the fear mechanism (which releases cortisol, the damaging stress hormone that’s responsible for a whole grab bag of health issues), says Josh Korda, dharma teacher at Dharma Punx NYC. One study suggests that meditation can cut back on anxiety by almost 40 percent. And it doesn’t take a ton of time to reap these keep-calm-and-carry-on benefits. Just 25 minutes of meditation (done three times per week) may make tasks feel less stressful, according to recent research.
3. Relieve headaches.
Meditation may be an excellent line of defense against those horrible head-pounding episodes. Recent research finds that the practice leads to major relief of tension headaches (though it’s worth noting that the treatment program in this study involved both meditation and medication, like muscle relaxants).
4. Be nicer.
Meditation may help you kill ‘em with kindness. In one study, the practice was linked with more empathy and laughter, being more social, and having a more team-oriented mentality (the meditation practitioners in the study used the word “we” more than “I”).
5. Boost memory.
If your desktop is wallpapered with sticky note reminders and you often find your mind jumping from thought to thought, you may want to turn to meditation. It’s been shown to not only improve memory but to help cut back on distracting thoughts.
6. Get more out of your workout.
Exercise, especially HIIT workouts in full-blown #beastmode, can do a number on your muscles and your central nervous system But meditation allows you to rest your body and mind very deeply, removing stress from your physiology and priming you for excellent sweat sessions, says Ben Turshen, a former lawyer who’s now a fitness professional and qualified independent teacher of Vedic Meditation in New York City. With meditation’s ability to reduce our stress levels, we’re able to perform our workouts that much better and enjoy them that much more, he says. And studies support Turshen’s point. Plus, meditation might also help minimize sensitivity to pain (read on for deets on that!), meaning it might be just the boost you need to take on new fitness challenges.
7. Keep colds away.
No need to buy that jumbo 12-pack of tissue boxes. Research links meditation with having fewer respiratory illnesses, quicker recovery times, and needing fewer sick days from work.
Now, go start meditating! To see 12 additional benefits of meditation, see the full article at Greatist.
Image Source: Balint Földesi