An excerpt from 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation by Matthew Thorpe, MD, PhD.
The popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its benefits.
Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.
You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration.
People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance.
This article reviews 12 health benefits of meditation.
Many styles of meditation can help reduce stress. Meditation can also reduce symptoms in people with stress-triggered medical conditions.
Habitual meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues like social anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Promotes Emotional Health
Some forms of meditation can improve depression and create a more positive outlook on life. Research shows that maintaining an ongoing habit of meditation may help you maintain these benefits long term.
Self-inquiry and related styles of meditation can help you "know yourself." This can be a starting point for making other positive changes.
Lengthens Attention Span
Several types of meditation may build your ability to redirect and maintain attention. As little as four days of meditation may have an effect.
May Reduce Age-Related Memory Loss
The improved focus you can gain through regular meditation may increase memory and mental clarity. These benefits can help fight age-related memory loss and dementia.
Can Generate Kindness
Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, is a practice of developing positive feelings, first toward yourself and then toward others. Metta increases positivity, empathy and compassionate behavior toward others.
May Help Fight Addictions
Meditation develops mental discipline and willpower and can help you avoid triggers for unwanted impulses. This can help you recover from addiction, lose weight and redirect other unwanted habits.
A variety of meditation techniques can help you relax and control the "runaway" thoughts that can interfere with sleep. This can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep quality.
Helps Control Pain
Meditation can diminish the perception of pain in the brain. This may help treat chronic pain when used as a supplement to medical care or physical therapy.
Can Decrease Blood Pressure
Blood pressure decreases not only during meditation, but also over time in individuals who meditate regularly. This can reduce strain on the heart and arteries, helping prevent heart disease.
You Can Meditate Anywhere
If you're interested in incorporating meditation into your routine, try a few different styles and consider guided exercises to get started with one that suits you.
12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
BY Written by Matthew Thorpe, MD, PhD
Thorpe, Matthew. “12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation.” Healthline, 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation#section2.
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I chose this article because it highlights so many ways that mindfulness effects not only your physical health, but your social and mental health as well.