Meditation is sometimes seen as the miracle cure we all need. It can set the stage for better mental health, fight stress, and improve emotional intelligence.1 Stillness and mindful meditation are hard to practice each day, what with several distractions, but, finding a way to do it anyway may be the key to unlocking better health. Here are a few changes you begin to observe as you meditate consistently.
1. You Feel Happier
Motivational speakers Abraham-Hicks say that we can find happiness in all that we do, have and can be. And meditation helps us be more mindful of our presence on this planet. In other words, meditation makes us conscious of the taste of our food, the beauty of the scenery around us, and the potential opportunities in every adversity. Research has shown that meditation can help fight depression and lead to a better quality of life.2 If you’ve started meditating regularly, expect to see a spring in your step soon.
2. Your Pain Is Reduced
Studies on the subject have shown that mindfulness-based stress relief, or meditation, can help alleviate the cause and experience of pain. This is great news for people suffering from chronic pain and other disorders that affect their quality of life.3 While it may not always be easy to meditate while you are in extreme pain, you can learn how to guide yourself out of it through meditation. You can also meditate when the pain decreases and be more mindful of how you feel with and without the pain in the background.
3. You Have Better Memory
Forgetting things of late? Forgetfulness is not always a sign of dementia- it can simply be caused by anxiety and having too many things on your mind. Meditation can help clear the head of these interfering thoughts. Over time, it has also been shown to improve working memory and the ability to make rational decisions.4
4. You Become More Creative
In a study involving CEOs and other professionals who typically have a greater degree of stress, it was observed that those who meditate regularly are more creative at work, both with their choices and with their work itself. Some people go so far as to claim that certain ideas would not have come to them had they not meditated.5 Whether small or significant, meditation does have an effect on creativity and how well you can harness your inner potential.
5. You Build Better Relationships
Meditation can help you build more meaningful relationships with your peers and colleagues. As you meditate, you begin to experience a sense of kindness towards everyone around you. Thus, you are able to see them in a better light and forgive them for small lapses.6 If you find yourself unhappy with people or holding grudges, meditation may just be the answer to forgiveness and letting go.
6. Your PMS Gets Better
Women who experience PMS know that it isn’t the cultural joke that it’s often made out to be. From mild symptoms such as cramps and the blues to severe ones like depression and panic, pre-menstrual syndrome can be a tough beast to battle. Meditation has shown a very high degree of efficacy in alleviating the mood changes associated with PMS. It can help women manage anxiety during this time and may also, over time, help with issues such as pain and a heavy period.7
7. Your Immune System Gets Stronger
Why are some of us just prone to seasonal allergies, colds, and every strain of flu that comes along? The answer may not always lie in food habits and hygiene conditions. Rather, our breathing may have something to do with it. Breathing is a core practice in meditation and ancient Indian medicine believes that breathing deeply and fully can help expand our lungs, purify the blood and build a stronger immune system. Some studies corroborate this claim and state that deep breathing can make the immune system stronger, among several other benefits.8
A lot of successful personalities, including famous actors, have spoken up about the need for greater focus on mental health. They advocate mindfulness meditation as a powerful technique to achieve more in life. In the end, meditation can help reduce stress in everyday life, make us more eager to try out new activities and on the whole, help us lead a better life.
|↑1||Chu, Li‐Chuan. “The benefits of meditation vis‐à‐vis emotional intelligence perceived stress and negative mental health.” Stress and Health 26, no. 2 (2010): 169-180.|
|↑2||Zeidan, Fadel, Susan K. Johnson, Nakia S. Gordon, and Paula Goolkasian. “Effects of brief and sham mindfulness meditation on mood and cardiovascular variables.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 16, no. 8 (2010): 867-873.|
|↑3||Grossman, Paul, Ludger Niemann, Stefan Schmidt, and Harald Walach. “Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis.” Journal of psychosomatic research 57, no. 1 (2004): 35-43.|
|↑4||Zeidan, Fadel, Susan K. Johnson, Bruce J. Diamond, Zhanna David, and Paula Goolkasian. “Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training.” Consciousness and cognition 19, no. 2 (2010): 597-605.|
|↑5||Seppala, E., 2015. How meditation benefits CEOs. Harvard Business Review.|
|↑6||Hutcherson, Cendri A., Emma M. Seppala, and James J. Gross. “Loving-kindness meditation increases social connectedness.” Emotion 8, no. 5 (2008): 720.|
|↑7||Arias, Albert J., Karen Steinberg, Alok Banga, and Robert L. Trestman. “Systematic review of the efficacy of meditation techniques as treatments for medical illness.” Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 12, no. 8 (2006): 817-832.|
|↑8||Jerath, Ravinder, John W. Edry, Vernon A. Barnes, and Vandna Jerath. “Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanism that explains how slow deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system.” Medical hypotheses 67, no. 3 (2006): 566-571.|