When anxious and stressed, meditation is one of the easiest ways to deal with it. Although seen sitting still, doing nothing, and not worrying about anything, meditation can affect our overall health. Meditation has some super benefits for both mental and physical health.
10 Super Benefits of Meditation for Mental and Physical Health
Meditation is one of the activities that we can do to maintain a healthy body. Other benefits of meditation can calm the mind and this can impact a much better mental health condition. However, health experts say that the benefits of meditation for health turns out to be better than you think.
Curious what are the 10 super benefits of meditation for mental and physical health? Check out the following review.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a mental exercise that includes relaxation, focus, and awareness. Meditation for the mind is physical exercise for the body.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines meditation as “the act of giving your attention to only one thing, either as a religious activity or as a way to find calm” or “think seriously or study, or the outcome of this activity.”
So, meditation can involve focus, relaxation, contemplation, or expression.
The benefits of meditation for our health
Meditation is an exercise to create peace of mind and a relaxed body. You can do this type of exercise anywhere, without the need for special tools. The key is only one, namely a calm atmosphere.
Some health benefits of meditation that you need to know, include:
1. Reduces stress
Stress can happen at any time. When stressed, cortisol levels in the body will increase and the body will release inflammatory stimulating chemicals called cytokines.
These cytokines produced by the body can disrupt sleep, increase blood pressure, make you depressed and anxious over time. As a result, you become more susceptible to various diseases. Fortunately, this condition can be overcome by meditation.
A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University looked at 33 men and women aged 18-30 years. They were asked to do meditation and breathing exercises in 25 minutes a day. Three days later, their saliva samples showed a decrease in cortisol levels. They also felt an increase in problem-solving when given a number of math problems and responding to a poem.
2. Fights depression
Long-term stress without treatment can end in depression. Meditation provides calm and comfort so that it is used as a therapy to fight depression.
A study conducted by Rutgers University looked at 55 women and men; 22 of them have depression. They were asked to follow a 30-minute meditation program followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in 8 weeks.
The results showed symptoms of depression reduced by 40 percent. They become more able to overcome problems and control themselves not to worry or think about something negative.
3. Controls anxiety
The result, people who follow yoga meditation can reduce anxiety levels. That is, the participants become more able to control the anxiety that arises or even prevent it from coming at all.
Also read: The Pros and Cons of Taking Antidepressants
4. Improves sleep quality
Stress, depression, and anxiety can make it difficult for you to sleep. Poor mental condition coupled with a body that lacks rest further aggravates the situation. Although it can be treated with sleeping pills, the use of pills often causes adverse side effects. For this reason, meditation is considered the safest way to overcome insomnia.
A study comparing two groups of participants; following a meditation program and not. Participants who take part in meditation can sleep faster and more soundly than people who do not participate in meditation. Researchers argue that meditation can calm one’s mind, the body releases tension and becomes more relaxed so that it can sleep better.
5. Boosts the immune system
If you have a common cold or flu, you need to increase your immune system. It’s easy to do with meditation. A study looked at 149 men and women with an average age of 59 years. They were divided into three groups, namely 51 people joined the meditation program, 47 exercised running and cycling, and the rest did nothing.
After 8 weeks, participants who took part in meditation experienced 27 symptoms of flu or colds, people who exercised experienced 26 times, while people who did nothing experienced symptoms as much as 40 times. People who exercise and meditate also show a faster rate of recovering from colds or colds, compared to those who are less active.
6. Improves mental and emotional health
Focusing on our heartbeats in meditation will really calm the mind. You will divert attention away from anxious thoughts and mind, and focus conversations rather than feelings of appreciation and gratitude from your own heart.
Meditation can also improve a better self-image and a more positive outlook on life. Based on research, meditation can reduce depression by more than 4,600 adults.
7. Helps fight addiction
The disciplined attitude adopted during meditation can help people who have addictions. A study reports that as many as 19 alcoholics can control their desire to drink.
This shows that meditation helps addicts to learn to distract when the urge to meet his opium. They become more understanding of how to best control their emotions and behavior.
8. Helps control pain
Your understanding of pain is connected to the state of mind, which can increase stress. For example, one study used functional MRI techniques to observe brain activity when study participants experienced painful stimuli. Some participants have undergone four days of awareness meditation training, while others have not.
The participants who meditated showed increased activity in brain centers known to control pain. They are also less sensitive to pain.
One other larger study looked at the benefits of meditation on 3,500 participants. As a result, it was found that meditation was associated with a decrease in complaints of chronic or intermittent pain.
Meanwhile, an additional study shows that meditation in patients with a terminal illness or end-stage disease can help reduce chronic pain late in life or near death.
9. Reduces high blood pressure
High blood pressure can make the heart work harder to pump blood. As a result, heart function gets worse and the risk of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis (narrowing of the heart arteries), heart attacks, and strokes is greater.
Meditation can reduce tension in the heart so that blood pressure will decrease. When the body releases tension, nerve signals that coordinate heart function and tension in blood vessels become more controlled.
10. Strengthens memory
As we get older, brain function will decrease. Meditation that combines singing and repetitive movements can practice one’s concentration.
A total of 12 studies have shown that meditation can improve the attention and memory and concentration of the elderly. Possible benefits of this meditation can help control stress, reduce loneliness, and improve brain function for the elderly with dementia.
Alzheimer’s prevention research shows that the benefits of meditation improve cognition in people with memory loss. Also, increases brain activity in the central area of memory.
There you go. That was the review on 10 super benefits of meditation for mental and physical health. Hope this article is useful to you so you. Maybe by meditating, you’ll be able to live a happier stress-free life!
Stay safe, happy, and healthy!
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