Why Should You Meditate: Top 10 Reasons For Meditation
Meditation, in its essence, can be interpreted as a potential tool to manipulate your own almighty brain to your advantage. It refers to a mindful breathing exercise, that tries to consciously sustain attention and monitor the sensation of the breath, redirecting attention as and when it wanders away. It has been in practice for ages as part of a healthy lifestyle and emotional well-being. If the immense popularity it enjoys and 5,000 years of testimonials do not give you enough reason to try meditation, consider these benefits.
1. It Inculcates A Habit Of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is all about feeling the present moment and gathering a full picture of what you are experiencing. When you meditate, you are doing exactly that. You direct all your five senses on a single task of breathing. Practicing this every morning trains your mind to repeat the same procedure in everything you do.
2. It Boosts Resilience And Helps Manage Chronic Stress
This is one of the main driving forces and chief motivation behind many people trying meditation. Psychological stress is a major health issue. It negatively affects almost every aspect of health and reduces the quality of life. Mindful meditation reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol and helps the body better manage stress, anxiety, and related issues.
3. Improves Mental Health
Meditation has a grounding effect as it brings you closer to your inner life, which we consciously ignore these days. It helps you understand your own feelings better. This brings a feeling of self-love and acceptance.
4. Promotes Sound Sleep
As meditation calms the central nervous system, it promotes sleep quality. It reduces stress which is a major cause of insomnia and disturbed sleep. Also, meditation teaches you to consciously guide your thoughts in a particular direction, which is very helpful in controlling wandering thoughts. This, in turn, reduces dream interruptions during the night and extends non-rapid eye movement(NREM) sleep.
5. It Helps You Eat Better
Stress eating and distracted eating are two leading causes contributing heavily to obesity and related lifestyle disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Meditation targets both these reasons and enables you to eat mindfully.
6. Improves Concentration
Wandering mind affects productivity. Meditation not only improves concentration but increases the attention span, too. A 2010 study studied the effect of a brief training program on concentration. It found participants who were subjected to 4 days of meditation to exhibit a better attention span and working memory.
7. It Strengthens The Immune System
Meditation fortifies your body against diseases and strengthens its natural defense mechanism. In a randomized controlled trial, which subjected its participants to a short-term program in mindful meditation, found this practice to improve immune function significantly.
8. Improves The Cognitive Function And Neuroplasticity
The region of the brain responsible for quick decision making in times of distress is the amygdala. The prefrontal cortex, on the other hand, takes conscious decisions based on thoughtful reason. Ideally, the prefrontal cortex should override the amygdala in normal times, but with chronic stress, the opposite happens. Meditation restructures the brain to correct this mechanism. This rewiring of the brain strengthens its adaptability.
9. It Can Help Control Addictions
Meditation can help overcome alcohol or drug dependence. In a 2008 study, the 8-week meditation program helped participants to identify their triggers and control their cravings.
10. Helps Manage Pain