The benefits of meditation are innumerable. In fact, meditation is so important that it has been called the basis of many types of spiritual and mental health practices. When practiced regularly, meditation can benefit you on every level, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. These benefits do not end after your meditation session. In fact, meditation can help you more efficiently and effectively through out the day and can even help you treat some physical conditions.
One of the most apparent benefits of meditation is that it can reduce or eliminate the effects of stress and anxiety. Many people are stressed out everyday and experience many negative symptoms that are caused by their stress. By reducing your daily stress, you will be able to improve your overall mood. Chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms can also be treated through the use of meditation techniques.
Another benefit of meditation may be the treatment of your chronic pain and illness. Some people may feel that practicing deep breathing is enough for alleviating pain. However, scientists have found that the practice of meditation may actually make your chronic pain and illness worse instead of better. Scientific studies have shown that the physical and chemical changes that take place during meditation may actually increase your pain feelings.
One study found that the benefits of meditation may also help reduce the symptoms associated with age-related memory loss. This benefit was particularly noted in women who were aging. The scientists tested the theory by administering placebo pills to a number of older women. Those that took the placebo pills saw a significant improvement in their age-related memory loss over the placebo. This study is important because if this same benefit can be found in elderly women, it could be good news for the many seniors who are struggling to keep their memories intact.
There is one scientific study that has been promising for quite some time. A research team from Japan reviewed the effects of meditation on high blood pressure. The participants had all been on a blood pressure medication already. The research found that those who regularly practiced meditation had lower blood pressure levels than those who did not practice meditation. This may be the first time that meditation has been proven to help lower high blood pressure.
Stress and anxiety are the symptoms many people suffer from every day. In order to reduce stress and anxiety, many people turn to regular exercise and yoga. Breathing exercises are becoming more popular as people discover the relaxing benefits of meditation. One review found that people who practiced guided breathing meditation saw a significant decrease in their stress levels. Of course, this benefit is not going to be noticeable immediately, but after practicing the breathing exercises for several weeks, most people notice a significant reduction.
Another review included twelve studies that were done on the effects of meditation on chronic pain. Those in the meditation group saw a significant decrease in chronic pain as compared to those in the placebo group. No other long term effect was noted, which is why the meta-analyses did not include any studies of the impact on hypertension or blood pressure.
As you can see from the research, there are many benefits of meditation, but these results are based on a small sample of people. Long term studies that follow people over time will provide more definitive evidence on the impact of meditation on health and stress. We know that meditation can provide a sense of relaxation and peace, but now we also know that it can improve both the physical health and mental state of an individual.