Meditation is becoming ever popular as more people discover the benefits of this simple yet powerful tool. Meditation is a technique that trains the mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. It can increase your awareness of your surroundings and yourself. It also helps in reducing stress which is the most sought after benefit of meditation along with enhancing concentration. Let us look at some of the benefits of meditation in detail.
Reduces stressStress reduction is one of the most common reasons why people take up the practice of meditation. In one study more than 3500 adults said that meditation actually reduces stress. Mental or physical stress increases the level of the stress hormone cortisol which causes many harmful effects of stress. One of these effects is the release of chemicals called cytokines which promote inflammation. This can cause disruption of sleep, increase anxiety and depression, increase blood pressure and cause fatigue and clouded thinking. However meditation reduces stress and prevents the harm that it causes to the body and mind.
Promotes emotional healthSome types of meditation also lead to improved image of the self and a more positive outlook in life. According to two studies performed with 4600 adults proved that meditation decreased depression in them. In fact in the long term it proves to decrease depression greatly. The cytokines mentioned above cause depression among other problems related to stress. However, meditation reduces the release of these harmful chemicals in the body and hence reduce depression. Meditation also enhances positive thinking and optimism. When the emotional and mental health is improved it also improves the appearance of a person. It reduces the signs of aging and signs like dark circles and sagging skin which is associated with stress and depression.
Enhances self-awarenessSome forms of meditation help in developing stronger understanding of the self and help in growth of a person within himself or herself. On the other hand there are some forms of meditation that help you recognize harmful or self-defeating thoughts. This way you get a better knowledge of your thought habits and you can consciously take them towards more constructive patterns.
Can reduce age related memory lossMeditation improve attention span and quality and causes clarity of thinking which will help to keep your mind young. Combining mantra and chants with meditation improves the ability to perform memory tasks in many cases of age related memory loss as proved by many studies. Around 12 studies proved that many meditation styles increased attention, memory and mental quickness in aged people. Partial improvement in memory of dementia patients was also observed. It is also beneficial for the care givers of dementia patients because it reduces stress and they are able to cope with the task of caring for these patients. Apart from keeping the mind and body young, meditation has many benefits as seen above.