Many people struggle with finding peace and stillness in the midst of a hectic world. If daily demands leave you feeling worried, tense or anxious, you may want to consider meditation.
While some beginners approach meditation with reluctance, many studies and seasoned meditators can attest to its healing effects. Evidence suggests that meditation enhances our minds by restructuring the areas of the brain that affect how we perceive the world and regulate our emotions.
By paying attention to our own bodily sensations, we can take our minds off of autopilot and gain power over how we think while learning a lot about ourselves. While meditation’s effects can feel subtle, just working with yourself to be more mindful can significantly improve your mental and physical health.
Improvements to Mental Health
Meditation involves awareness of your own mind, which in turn can help improve the state of your mind as you become more familiar with it. This can bring you a number of benefits to your mental health.
Even beginner meditators can experience an increase emotional stability, making it easier to experience and describe emotions. This can lead to a reduction in anxiety and depression, as well as an increase in happiness. With continued practice, meditators can gain focus that develops their intuition and mental clarity. This can make problems seem smaller and easier to handle. Meditation simultaneously sharpens and relaxes the mind, allowing you to feel at peace and mentally relaxed.
On a more physical level, meditation increases the thickness of the parts of the brain that control perception, self-awareness, and interpersonal experience. Meditation improves your brain in order to enhance your mind, but it also offers many other physical improvements.
Improvements to Physical Health
While many people think of meditation as a mental exercise, it can also improve your physical health. It positively affects the brain, but it can also improve the way many other parts of the body function.
Meditation can improve functions linked to anxiety by lowering blood pressure and blood lactate levels. It can also increase serotonin production, which can help fight depression and improve your mood and behavior. If you suffer from tension-related pain like tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, or muscle/joint pain, meditation may also help relieve you of those aches.
Meditation helps you notice patterns in the way you think and the way you feel. When you begin to see those patterns, you have the opportunity to change them and improve your quality of life. Make sure you don’t let the thought of meditating the “right” way prevent you from getting started. It is common for your mind to wander during meditation, no matter how often you meditate.
Even beginning-level meditation training can have powerful effects, so there’s no bad time to give it a try.