When you practice meditation for the first time, something within you will change. By changes, I’m referring to the physical, emotional, and mental changes. These changes might come as a surprise if you are unaware of the benefits of meditation.
But as continue to meditate on a daily basis and make progress, those changes will feel more natural to you. Your body will undergo metamorphosis, a complete transformation and you’ll be reborn anew. This is the power of meditation.
It is exactly why meditation practice such as mindfulness is gaining popularity. Practicing mindfulness for about 10-15 minutes a day can cure depression. It is equally effective in fighting against stress and anxiety disorders.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a living example of how meditation practice can change people’s lives for good. He writes for CNN –“For the past two months, I have been a changed man. It is hard to fully describe, except to say my mood is mostly sunny and more patient than usual.”
“In the past, my family and friends would’ve typically described me as pleasant but hurried. My baseline restlessness and edginess, however, have now nearly vanished,” he added.
In this article, I’ve listed 14 benefits of meditation proven by science.
1. Slow aging is a benefit of meditation
Slow aging is one of the health benefits of practicing mindfulness meditation.
Aging is a natural process and has its own pace. There’s no escaping it. But one can slow down the aging process by living a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle is comprised of three things. They are:
- eat a balanced diet,
- exercising moderately for 30 minutes or intensely for about 15 minutes daily, and
- practice meditation every day.
While the first two elements are more or less obvious to everyone, the latter is least known. The relationship between meditation and slow again is only recently known.
Recent studies have revealed that practicing meditation helps to
- slows the rate of cellular again,
- keep your body fit,
- revitalizes your skin,
- improves stamina, and
- keeps your mind young.
Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, believes analytical meditation helps to keep your mind young. He himself practices analytic meditation, a form of meditation with reasoning, every morning. At the age of 85, he still looks great and actively participates in spiritual seminars and events.
Practicing meditation as a healthy morning routine takes care of your stress. Stress is a key factor when it comes to aging. People who stress a lot tend to age a lot quicker. Fine lines and wrinkles may appear on their faces and some of their hair turn grey. A few may end up looking bald due to hair fall.
2. Peace of mind is a benefit of meditation
A peaceful mind is one of the benefits of mindfulness on mental health.
The human mind is one of the most complex structures in existence. It operates 24/7, 365 days a year, and as long as you live without a single break. Surprisingly, it does not come with an on/off button.
So it is practically impossible for you to stop your brain from operating. As a result, your mind goes into overdrive once every blue moon. Your desires fuel your emotions which results in your thoughts going out of control.
Practicing meditation is one way to soothe your chaotic mind. It helps to calm your thoughts and promotes peace of mind. A peaceful mind is one that responds to stimuli and not react. It significantly increases your decision-making capabilities.
Mindfulness meditation practice, in particular, can change the way your brain functions. It affects (increases) the grey-matter concentration in the cerebellum. Grey matter is linked with thought processing, memory, learning, and emotion regulation.
3. Emotional stability is a benefit of daily meditation
Emotional stability is one of the benefits of mindfulness meditation. It is the capacity to maintain emotional balance under stressful circumstances.
In a normal situation, your emotions control your actions. But as when you practice meditation daily, you become mindful. You can control your emotions and give direction to your actions.
Practicing meditation daily 30 minutes a day can make you emotionally stable. You’ll develop a higher tolerance to day-to-day stress and strains. Also, you’ll not lose your composure and get angry, anxious, upset, nervous, or tense.
Your emotions are of two types. They are:
- Healthy emotions. These are born whenever you are happy or excited.
- Unhealthy emotions. These are born whenever you’re upset, or depressed.
Healthy emotions signal your brain to produce the feel-good hormone dopamine. It helps to-
- improve your mood,
- counter depression,
- negating the effects of stress,
- improve productivity,
- makes you alert, and
- keep you motivated.
Additionally, dopamine is also involved in bodily functions such as:
- heart and kidney function,
- blood flow,
- memory and focus.
- pleasure and reward-seeking behavior
Similarly, unhealthy emotions signal your brain to produce the stress hormone cortisol. It can adversely affect your health if produced in a large quantity.
4. Improved sleep is a benefit of meditation
Improved sleep is one of the long-term benefits of meditation on mental health. You might as well refer to it as one of the benefits of meditation on the brain.
A majority of the population experiences sleep deprivation once in a while. Some may even develop some kinds of sleeping disorders over time. It affects adults and children alike.
Sleep is an important aspect of your health. According to CDC, a healthy adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep daily. Lack of sleep can have an adverse effect on your health and well-being.
The short term effects of lack of sleep or sleep deprivation include:
- Reduced productivity
- Lack of concentration at work and study
- Low at energy
- reduced alertness
- Lower sex drive
Long term effects of sleep deprivation include:
- Unhealthy skin
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Sleep apnea
- Weakened immunity
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Severe mood swings
Health professionals strongly agree with the idea that meditation can improve your sleep. When paired with a healthy diet and regular exercise. By practicing meditation for 10-15 minutes daily can solve all your sleeping issues.
Your thoughts that keep popping one after another when lay down on your bed and try to get some sleep is a major issue. Meditation practice such as mindfulness helps to get rid of unnecessary thoughts. Thus helping you to sleep better.
5. Supports your creativity side
A creative mind is a gift of meditation. It is one of the benefits of meditation. Meditation helps to fuel your creativity and give birth to innovations.
In a study, it was observed that 10 minutes of mindfulness practice a day helped participants to tap into their creative energy.
Creativity isn’t a skill that you can master over a period of time. It is precisely why you get wiser as you age but not creative in the least.
Your creative energy lies dormant within your subconscious space. But it can sometimes materialize on its own in the form of a thought or an idea. It usually takes place whenever your mind is at peace without any worries or pressure.
When your mind is at peace, its wavelength matches that of the creative energy. You can channel it and materialize it to your advantage. Some people are good at channeling their creative energy unconsciously. Even so, they only manage to channel it as long as they have a peaceful mind.
But once their mind becomes chaotic, they lose the ability to tap into their creative energy. They grow tired, become desperate as they are under pressure to meet their deadline. Their stress keeps piling up and soon they smoothing sailing career comes to a halt.
But it is not the case with people who practice meditation and become mindful. They are able to tap into their creative thought bubbles knowingly. They can deliver results and meet deadlines even when they are under a lot of pressure.
The big names in the tech industry such as Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. are well aware of this fact. They even have introduced meditation and other mindfulness practices to their employees.
Here’s a bonus video on the scientific power of meditation.