The Psychological Benefits of Meditation

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Meditation is an ancient practice that requires sustained, single-pointed concentration to boost mental health and well-being. Dozens of scientific studies show that meditation does not just encourage relaxation; it can also improve wellness and mental health! Wondering what psychological benefits, you get from meditating? Read on to find out:

Boosts Memory and Mood

Dealing with negative emotions tend to affect a person’s mood and disposition. Meditation allows the brain to train itself to be calm even under stressful situations. When you are a lot calmer, you make better decisions. You can do that by meditating regularly. Studies show that meditating regularly helps improve mood as well as working memory.

Improves Focus

Do you find yourself unable to finish basic tasks because you are always distracted or preoccupied with other things? Meditation may just help lengthen your attention span. When you meditate, the brain is able to process thoughts with ease. It puts the mind in a constant state of focus. You are able to remove yourself from distraction or negative emotions. Negative emotions do not just affect your performance at work, they also lead to mental disorders like depression, panic attacks, and anxiety.

Scientific studies show that meditating for as little as once every week has a significant impact on a person’s cognitive abilities.

May Increase Brain Size

Studies conducted by Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that meditation can increase the brain’s size. As we age, the brain’s gray matter starts to thin out. As it thins out, our thought processing, cognition, and emotional processing degrade too.

Think of meditation as a form of mental exercise. Meditating pumps up the brain tissues, thickening the gray matter. Studies show that meditation thickens the part of the brain associated with working memory and attention. These parts of the brain are critical because they are linked to intelligence and cognitive performance.

Reduces Mental and Physical Fatigue

Apart from promoting relaxation, meditation also boosts mental alertness and performance. Think of meditation as a midday nap. It refreshes the mind and wakes up the brain more effectively than a cup of coffee.  The next time you go out for a coffee break, try meditating for 10 to 15 minutes instead. You will feel relaxed, rejuvenated and calm after.

Reduces Impact of Mental and Physical Pain

Meditation doesn’t just ease mental distress, it also reduces the impact of physical pain too. In fact, studies show that meditation can ease chronic pain by up to 50%. And beyond physical pain, meditation soothes mental pain. It also trains the mind to control emotional response and cope with stressful situations in a healthy way. This is why meditation is recommended for patients who are suffering from addiction, mental and behavioral disorders.

Promotes Spiritual Enlightenment

Achieving spiritual enlightenment frees the mind from the trappings of living in excess. Meditation aims to enrich the mind so it melds with the spirit. When the mind, body and spirit work as one, you gain an understanding of yourself and of the world. Meditation allows you to make peace with yourself, discover the underlying nature of reality and of course, become empathetic to others.

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