10 Health Benefits of Meditation That May Surprise You
10 Surprising Health Benefits of Meditation
For centuries people from all walks of life have been practicing the simple art of meditation. For those who have never tried meditation before it may seem almost too simple, as though you are doing nothing but sitting in silence. However, in reality, meditation is one of the most powerful and effective practices for overall health and wellbeing.
The health benefits of meditation are truly outstanding, which is why even thousands of years later, people are still practicing meditation on a regular basis. Most people interested in meditation know that regular meditation can help with stress and bring mental focus and clarity. However, what many people still don’t realize about meditation, is that it can actually have some very powerful health effects as well.
Here are 10 of the top health benefits that you can see from regular meditation.
- It Fights Stress
This is the most popular reason that people meditate and that’s because it has some of the most powerful results. Stress is so bad for the body it can cause headaches, aches and pains, anxiety, depression and a number of other physical symptoms. Start meditating regularly for just 10-15 minutes at a time and you will be surprised to find how quickly the stress melts away.
- Meditation Improves Your Immune System
This is one of the most surprising health benefits of meditation. Several studies, have found that regular meditation can increase both immune system function and that those who meditate regularly have an increase in antibodies to fight infection. This includes things such as the flu and other infections. According to one particular study from the University of Wisconsin, regular meditation won’t only strengthen the body’s immune function, but it can actually increase electrical activity in the brain as well.
- Meditation Reduces Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
If there is one area of health that has been most studied when it comes to meditation and its health benefits, it is absolutely mental health. According to a review study at Johns Hopkins University, the effects of meditation on those with anxiety and depression are similar to the effects of antidepressants.
For those with social anxiety, mindful meditation has been proven to help relieve the symptoms of social anxiety as well.
- Meditation Can Help With Blood Pressure
A majority of people who start practicing meditation regularly can actually lower their blood pressure so much, they are able to stop taking blood pressure medication all together. This is because meditation helps promote relaxation and helps improve circulation. When this happens, the blood vessels open up and improve blood flow, therefore decreasing blood pressure. It is a natural and effective way to help alleviate a very serious health condition.
- Meditation Helps With Sleep Patterns
If there is one major health step that most people today could take to improve their overall health and well-being, it would be to sleep more. Several studies on meditation and sleep, including a major study from Harvard University have found that mediation can help trigger a relaxation response that gets people to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.
Meditation can also help those with insomnia as studies have found that they were able to fall asleep twice as fast on days they meditated compared to days they didn’t.
- Meditation May Help With Fertility
Meditation is able to help certain systems in the body, such as the immune system, function better because it helps alleviate stress which can be very detrimental to the body. While meditation may not directly impact a person’s ability to get pregnant, a study from WebMD found that women who were less stressed were more likely to conceive.
- Meditation Can Lower Your Chances of Stroke or Heart Attack
A study on Transcendental Meditation with a group of Americans with heart disease found that regular meditative practices can help lower the risk of death, heart attack and strokes. Great effects can even be had on healthy men and women who may have stress and high blood pressure, but not heart disease—simply put meditation is good for your heart and its quick, free and painless as well.
- Meditation Can Help With Pain Relief
In one MIT Study, conducted in 2011, researchers found that meditation can actually help those who suffer from chronic pain. When people are able to use meditation to focus on physical sensations from certain parts of their bodies, instead of just the area they are feeling pain, they are often able to get significant and noticeable results.
- Meditation Can Help With Addiction
Those who have serious addictions, substance abuse problems and who abuse alcohol can see great effects on their road to recovery with regular meditation. Stress is one of the main factors that causes people struggling with addiction to give into their daemons. Regular meditation helps combat stress. The chain reaction can help many then get a better control over their addiction issues.
- Meditation Can Give Your Brain a Boost
Meditation has a lot of impact on your physical health, but it can also give you a mental boost as well by actually helping improve your brain. Studies have shown that regular meditation can help improve your ability to process information. It can also help with focus and memory and according to one study actually helped adults perform better on verbal reasoning on the GRE.
Which of these health benefits of meditation are you going to adopt to improve your overall health?