Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. However, due to its spiritual associations, it is often dismissed as a mystical practice whose benefits are viewed as unattainable or unreal. Thankfully, substantial research exists that demonstrates how meditation affects the body and mind and how these effects can improve your life. If you're still a meditation skeptic, read on for a few benefits that you might not have heard of before.
WANT MORE BRAIN POWER?
Meditation helps to change the way that the brain works. It encourages synaptic connection which increases the brain’s ability to function. This boost in its health is incredibly valuable as it transfers to all areas of health and well-being. Research even suggests that meditation slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease when included as part of treatment.
ARE YOU OVERWHELMED BY EMOTIONAL STRESS?
At its core, meditation is the practice of emotional regulation. By practicing this while building stronger neural connectivity, issues such as stress, depression and anxiety are reduced in their severity. Those who have struggled with these types of emotional issues throughout their lives have found great relief in the power of meditation.
FEEL LIKE YOU AREN'T LIVING IN THE MOMENT?
Improvements in emotional regulation and attention brought on by meditation allow you to be more present and to better process the environment around you. You'll be able to squeeze more joy out of life, experience less stress, be more productive at work and forge better connections with others. Those who want to make the most of life will use meditation as a springboard for taking advantage of all that life has to offer.
ARE YOU TRYING TO BE MORE HEALTHY?
Reductions in stress allow your immune and digestive systems to function more efficiently. For example, studies have shown that individuals who meditate regularly experience fewer colds and fewer sick days when battling the sniffles than those who do not.
DO YOU HAVE A CHRONIC ILLNESS?
Meditation has been shown to be helpful for reducing the impact of symptoms stemming from long-term illness. People suffering with cancer, pain disorders, multiple sclerosis, PTSD and more have benefited from meditation practices.
WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT?
By boosting awareness and encouraging non-judgment, meditation can help bolster those difficult lifestyle changes associated with sustainable weight loss. If you've had trouble sticking to a healthy diet or your fitness goals in the past, consider adding meditation to your efforts to get better results.
NEED TO KICK A HABIT?
Some research indicates that meditation can help curb emotional reactivity to cravings, while increasing activity in areas of the brain that handle self-control and the rewards system. Smokers have been shown to smoke less and rebound from relapses more quickly using consistent meditation habits.
There is no one way to practice meditation, and what works for one person might not work for another. However, with experimentation and practice, you can improve your life in numerous ways by simply dedicating 15-20 minutes a day to meditating. Giving it a try won't hurt anything, and who knows, maybe some of these benefits are awaiting if you will just see what meditation can do for you.
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