Health Benefits Of Meditation

December 20, 2017

For thousands of years, Buddhist monks and many other religions and cultures have used meditation as a way to focus their concentration and expand their personal consciousness.  Western society has gradually adapted and integrated meditation into its mainstream culture to help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. 


Meditation Builds Mental Resilience

Meditation is a way to completely focus and relax the mind. Stress can cause your thoughts to race at a million miles an hour, meditation provides an open door to promote focus and relaxation. In our modern fast paced society, stress is exacerbated; without rituals of quiet contemplation practiced on a regular basis, more people are turning to antidepressants to combat anxiety and burnout.  

Meditation has been demonstrated to improve a person’s personal ability to manage their mood through controlling their thought processes. Using psychological interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can assist with this.

People who practice meditation on a regular basis have expressed that they are far happier and able to concentrate better at work. They also find that they have an overall improvement in quality and enjoyment of life. 

Meditation and mindfulness create an ability to redirect impulse controls, meaning you are more likely to respond to a situation rather than to immediately react. It helps increase overall mental health, mental stamina and general well being. 


Meditation Promotes Reflection

People experience some extremely stressful times throughout their lives which can often leave them feeling frazzled, burned out, depressed or anxious. Meditation allows a person to take a step back from these stressful situations and reflect and focus on a positive mindset. When a person trains themselves to respond rather than react, mental stamina is achieved. There is a general feeling of calm and overall well-being when one engages in the practice of regular meditation; people can begin to refocus where their energy goes – positive rather than negative.


Brain Physiology and Meditation

Medical and scientific studies have been conducted on how the brain changes physiologically after meditation. The lateral pre-frontal cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex both show dynamic changes during meditation. These parts of the brain are involved in assessment, cognition and impulse control. Meditation enhances these areas of the brain so people are more likely to stay calm and think before they act.


Mediation May Help Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Studies show a correlation between meditation and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Meditation helps to relax the vascular system and the heart, creating the ability for the body to heal from excessive periods of stress thereby negating the effects of oxidative stress on the body.  Meditation has been found to be an inexpensive, accessible and non-invasive method for promoting wellness and enhancing physical health. Due to its connection to reducing blood pressure, it can also help ease headaches and other stress related issues. Meditation, while having health benefits, should not replace current cardiovascular treatment and healthy lifestyle choices, but used in conjunction with them. 


Other Ways Meditation Improves Health

Meditation reduces the amount of tissue in the body that is associated with stress. Meditation completely eradicates all forms of stress and anxiety from the body. After several months of practice, it becomes a way of life and stress just seems to be eliminated from a person’s lifestyle. It improves physiological functioning and enhances personal well being. It enhances the ability to empathise with others and create calm and a sense of stability in a person. It improves a person’s ability to focus and drives mental performance further.

Meditation enhances creativity and inspiration and the ability to see things differently. It gives focus, clarity, assists with the ability to evaluate situations and bring decisiveness to a person. Meditation puts people in the state of flow, where everything becomes effortless and a sense of ease is imputed to a person’s life.


Meditation Assists With Sleep Disorders and Mindfulness

When combined with mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation can assist with letting go of stressful situations and help prevent rumination,both of which can lead to insomnia. It is an effective treatment for sleep disturbances and can be instructed by a psychologist or by a general practitioner who is involved in integrative and holistic meditation.