Meditation has been linked with multiple benefits.
The great thing about mindfulness meditation is that you can find a lot of information about it for free, and it can improve a lot of aspects of your life, from self-control to your social and professional life.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at 17 darn good reasons why everyone should start meditating today.
Before we go ahead and get started, I wanted to let you know I researched and assembled 47 scientifically-backed ways to achieve laser-like focus, accelerate learning, sharpen memory, & boost mental energy.
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- Meditation Decreases Pain
Well, doesn’t this look like something out of a Bruce Lee movie?
“-Master, I’m in pain”
“-It’s alright. Meditate and it shall pass.”
Even though it sounds too good to be true, this fact is backed by science.
Researchers studied the reactions of people who just started meditating, and the results were surprising.
After only 4 days of meditation training, the test subjects were capable of handling more unpleasant stimulation than those who didn’t meditate.
And the best part is, their pain-intensity ratings were reduced by 40%.
But the researchers weren’t convinced the test subjects weren’t faking it, so they examined the subjects’ brain using an MRI machine.
The pain reduction was also associated with a thalamic deactivation and an orbitofrontal cortex activation.
When translated into plain English, this means that the subjects were actually feeling less pain than the others.
After only 4 days. (1)
- Meditation Decreases Inflammation
OK, so everyone knows at least a person who’s cranky because his or her knee, shoulder, hip, lower back hurts all the time, right?
Whether it’s your uncle Bill or the neighbor two streets down, you’ve known at least a person that’s nasty to interact with, right?
Well, according to some studies, that person should meditate.
Meditation lowers the stress of those who suffer from chronic pain, and it significantly lowers the post-stress inflammatory response.
This means that people who meditate will experience less chronic pain.
So, have your uncle Bill take on meditation, and watch as he transforms from a troglodyte to a human being in only 8 weeks. (2)
- Meditation Boosts Your Immune System
Flu season could be a thing of the past if more people would meditate.
Instead of walking around with face masks, people could meditate and still protect themselves against the flu without looking silly on the subway.
Studies have found that meditation boosts your immune system in a relatively short time.
After being vaccinated, people who meditated for 8 weeks presented a higher increase in their antibody titer than those who didn’t meditate.
So basically, after being vaccinated with the same substance, those who meditated for 8 weeks presented more antibodies than those who didn’t.
That’s pretty neat, right? (3)
- Meditation Decreases Depression And Increases Positivity
Feeling blue? Well, meditation might be the perfect solution for you.
Researchers have found out that mindfulness meditation is capable of modifying cognitive processes, so it can reduce your ruminative tendencies.
Rumination is the process in which someone focuses his or her attention on his or her own distress.
By reducing the ruminative thinking, meditation helps you control your dysfunctional beliefs which will decrease your depression symptoms and increase your productivity. (4)
Meditation can also increase your positive emotions, so you will feel better throughout the day.
Researchers were curious to find out if meditation can increase the positive emotions people felt during the day, so they had one group of people involved in a mindfulness meditation program.
After finishing an 8-week training program, this group of people was required to describe their daily thoughts, and their answers were compared to those of a control group
Researchers found out that people who engaged in mindfulness meditation were more satisfied with their lives, and they experienced more positive emotions than the ones in the control group. (6)
- Meditation Decreases Anxiety And Stress
Anxiety disorders are no trifling matters.
People suffering from anxiety have a hard time integrating into normal society, and they might lack the motivation and energy to perform well in their professions.
Luckily, mindfulness meditation can help in this regard.
A study has shown that after following an 8-week course of mindfulness meditation, people who were suffering from anxiety experienced a reduction in their stress levels.
And the best part is, their stress levels were still low after a 3-year period.
The subjects’ anxiety levels were also better, and so were the number and severity of their panic attacks. (5)
In another randomized study, researchers tested the job satisfaction levels, negative health impact, depression levels, and psychological distress of health care professionals.
To help these people unwind, the researchers enlisted some of them in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program.
At the end of the program, the researchers tested the health care professionals again.
The study has shown that after completing the meditation program, the health care professionals had lower stress levels, experienced an increase in their life quality, and they had more self-compassion. (7)
- Meditation Makes You Feel Less Lonely
Meditation might seem like a solitary activity, but even so, it will help you feel less lonely.
When adults feel lonely, they present an increase in their pro-inflammatory genes which can lead to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality.
Luckily mindfulness meditation can help with that.
After following an 8-week study, people experienced a decrease in their lonely-related pro-inflammatory gene expression.
Moreover, the people who participated in the study actually felt less lonely compared with those in the control group. (8)
- Meditation Makes You More Compassionate
Since mindfulness meditation is often recommended for alleviating negative emotional states, researchers wanted to find out if meditation can affect compassion as well.
To find out, they created a study and randomly selected 100 people.
All of them had to fill out forms that measured their compassion for others, self-compassion, and the compassion they receive from others.
60 people followed a 9-week compassion cultivation training program.
After the training program was over, both groups had to fill out forms that measured their compassion again.
Compared to the control group, the people who completed the course showed significant improvements in all three categories. (9)
- Meditation Increases Your Emotional Intelligence And Social Connection
It doesn’t matter how tough or arrogant you wish to appear.
The need for social connection is one of the fundamental human motives, so being involved in society offers both mental and physical health benefits.
However, recent technological advancements changed the ways we interact with one another.
Experts consider that most of the social connections we’re involved in today might be shallow and that they might actually lower our social integration.
So researchers were curious to find out if our social connection could be increased by meditation.
Here’s what they found out:
People who practice just a few minutes of loving-kindness meditation experienced an increased feeling of social connection, and they were positively inclined towards new individuals than the individuals in a control group.
These results suggest that we could use meditation as a tool to increase our emotional intelligence and decrease the social isolation caused by technology-mediated socializing. (10)
- Meditation Improves Your Ability To Introspect
Introspection is very important because it gives you an idea if your bodily sensations are determined by physical, psychological, or emotional aspects.
People who have good introspection skills can determine in time how their bodies react to certain changes in their social, professional, or physical environment, and they can learn how to control these reactions.
The ability to introspect and control your emotions can be very useful for people who activate in highly competitive fields, such as athletes or CEOs.
An athlete that can control his or her emotions before a race is more likely to succeed than one whose nerves are strained to the limit.
Mindfulness meditation can improve your introspection skills which can lead to both mental and physical benefits (11)
- Meditation Improves The Way You Regulate Your Emotions
Emotion regulation is not a well-known term.
Emotion regulation basically represents your ability of influence when, how, and which emotions you express.
The problem with emotions is that they’re fickle.
One moment you’re happy, the next one you’re rash and impulsive.
Emotion regulation strategies can help you adapt your reactions based on the context and purpose.
Mindfulness meditation training programs can improve your emotional regulation.
Studies have shown that people who were involved in a 9-week meditation program were 40% less likely to express their feeling involuntarily.
This can be very helpful for people who have to be involved in face-to-face negotiations, poker players, as well as healthcare providers. (12)
- Meditation Increases Your Brain’s Gray Matter
Not only will meditation make you feel better and communicate better with others, but it will also change the structure of your brain.
After examining MRI scans of 44 people, scientists found out that people who mediate presented significantly larger gray matter volumes in their right orbito-frontal cortex.
In addition to this, they noticed that the mediators were larger in the right hippocampus.
In plain English, the researchers discovered that the people who meditate have more gray matter in the parts of their brains that are more involved in emotional stability and mindful behavior.
How cool is that? (13)
- Meditation Increases Your Attention And Concentration
Having problems concentrating is not necessarily a sign of ADD.
Millions of people lose their focus just because they’re too stressed out, tired, or overworked.
One of the interesting effects meditation has is improving your attention and concentration.
A recent study showed that after only a couple of weeks of meditation training, some people were able to increase their attention and concentration significantly.
Some people experienced a score increase of 16%, which is darn good for just two weeks of practice.
Since meditation often involves a strong focus on an object, activity, or idea, it’s not surprising that people who meditate are better at concentrating and have more brain power. (14)
- Meditation Can Help With Overcoming Addiction
Multiple studies have shown that meditation can help with overcoming different addictions.
When you meditate, the areas in your brain that are responsible with self-control are activated, and even enhanced over time.
This can be very helpful for people recovering from addiction.
In a study, scientists split the participants into two groups.
One group benefited from a mindfulness meditation program, while the other from the American Freedom From Smoking (FFS) program, and pitted them against one another to see how they compare.
The results were clearly in favor of the group that meditated.
First of all, people in the meditation group were more likely to quit smoking by the end of the program.
Even at the 17-week follow-up examination, there were fewer people who relapsed in the meditation group than in the regular one.
One of the explanations proposed by the researchers is that meditation helps people separate the craving feeling from smoking, and it makes then aware that one doesn’t have to lead to the other. (15)
- Meditation Can Improve Your Ability To Multitask
Multitasking is nowadays a necessity if you want to function at your best.
You have to navigate the narrow hallway to your office while checking and answering the CEO’s emails, and you can’t even eat without watching cute cat videos or chatting with your friends.
Since multitasking will probably be useful for the next few decades, it would be nice to be able to do it better, right?
Well, it seems like mindfulness meditation can help with that as well.
To test if this is true, scientists divided some people working in HR in three groups.
The first group received a mindfulness relaxation training for 8 weeks, the second one received body relaxation training for the same period of time, while the third was used as a control group.
The scientists tested all the people involved in the study before and after the training.
The test results were not significantly different.
However, scientists noticed that the people who had meditation training showed lower levels of stress during the test, and they had a better memory for the tasks involved.
They also switched from one task to another less frequently and remained focused on the task for a longer time. (16)
- Meditation Improves Your Creative Abilities
Many people don’t really care about their creative abilities.
You will often hear people say they don’t need to be creative because they’re not working in a creative field such as art or design.
But that’s the wrong way to think about creativity.
Creativity is more than just being able to play the guitar or paint.
Creative people are often more successful because they have the ability to think outside the box.
Where other people follow the herd, creative people want to express their unique selves.
It’s said that people throughout history found spiritual enlightenment through meditation, and that might be true.
But the certain this is that after you start meditating, you will gain more freedom for thought, more freedom from the ticking clock, and more freedom from the outside world.
Maybe that’s what enlightenment is, after all.
- Meditation Can Help Kids In School
Meditation is not only for adults.
You can get your children involved as well.
The results might surprise you.
Studies have shown that short meditation breaks can improve your children’s school performance.
School is a stressful period in every child’s life.
Even if you remember your school years fondly now, you might have been very stressed at the moment.
Children go to the most dramatic physical changes of their lives while they’re in school.
And on top of that, they have to get good grades and socialize with other people.
It can be pretty stressful, if you think about it.
However, teaching your kid about the power can be very helpful.
Short meditation breaks help kids do better at school, and they can also make them more sociable. (18)
- Meditation Makes You Wise
It’s very difficult to describe a wise person, or why that person is wise.
But meditation can help you reach a level of perspective you didn’t have before.
By observing and understanding your mind, you realize you don’t have to throw tantrums, get jealous or sad.
You can get in touch with yourself. Maybe that’s wisdom.
Think about meditation as a way to clean your mind.
You can get rid of all the junk and see things more clearly.
If you think about it, the quality of your mind dictates the quality of your life.
No matter what happens in the outside world, if your mind is alright, everything is alright.