7 (Scientifically Proven) Benefits of Meditation
Meditation, everyone is talking about it, but have you tried it? In our busy 21-century world, balancing careers, family, friends, and everything in between, the idea of getting time alone, to do nothing but clear your mind and focus on your breathing can sound near impossible. But scheduling in moments in the day to meditate, whether it be setting your alarm earlier or sitting in meditation 10 minutes before going to bed, the benefits to your overall health and life can be immense. Here are 7 scientifically proven benefits from implementing a regular meditation routine.
1. Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Get up, turn off the early alarm, do Pilates, get the kids ready for school, get ready for work, spend the day working hard through meetings trying to be the best employee or business owner ever. Balancing family, friends, time for our favourite hobbies. It's only natural that our minds are constantly focused on the future and what comes next. Adding meditation into your day has proven to reduce stress and anxiety. In a study conducted over 8 weeks, those who gave themselves time to meditate daily significantly reduced the body's inflammation response to stress.
2. Increases Attention Span
Although meditation may mean scheduling something extra into your diary. It can make the hours in your day more productive. Just like we regularly do Pilates to become more flexible and stronger. Regular meditation trains our minds to be more attentive and focused. For anyone falling into procrastination traps, one study conducted on meditation showed that meditating for 13 minutes a day for 8 weeks increased enhanced attention and memory.
3. Improves Sleep
It's estimated 2 out of 5 Australian's aren't getting a quality amount of sleep. Lack of sleep is related to a lot of short-term and long-term health concerns.
Meditation has proven to assist with blood circulation which in turn puts the body in a more relaxed state, it can assist with calming down an overactive mind and lowers cortisol (our bodies stress hormone) which intern increases GABA (our bodies relaxation neurotransmitter) preparing the body for a well-rested night’s sleep.
4. Reduces PMS
Yes, it is true – meditation can assist with some symptoms associated with PMS, an accessible, free solution to the monthly dread. Emotional sensitivity, food cravings and insomnia, and cramps around our periods can be eased with a regular meditation practice. This is due to regular meditation increasing our self-awareness and positive thoughts making us able to deal with emotions and stresses with more ease, as well as increasing relaxation in the body which can assist with muscle tension.
5. Improves Digestion
The gut-brain connection is real! Our gut is our second brain, just as important as it is to listen to our gut feelings and feed it fantastic fuel. It's important to give our gut a moment of relaxation. Constipation, bloating and gas can all be related to our bodies being stressed. Our gut can hold tension, anxiety, and stress, and it is essential for creating serotonin (or feel-good happy hormone.) Meditation helps put the body in a relaxed state, improving blood circulation and blood oxygen levels which in turn assists with digestion and serotonin production.
6. Can lower Blood Pressure
Stress is a major factor in High Blood Pressure. Regular meditation can reduce strain on the heart and improve blood pressure. A meta-analysis conducted with 12 individual studies and 1000 participants, concluded that several different styles of meditation can show improvements in individuals suffering from high blood pressure.
7. Increases Compassion
Just like there are many different styles of Pilates, there are many different types of meditation. One style of meditation is called, Metta, which focuses on creating positive and loving thoughts towards yourself and those around you. A study completed on the Metta style of meditation with 100 hours, found results dose-dependent. Meaning the more individuals meditated, the more compassion and positive thoughts they felt for themselves and those around them.
Ready to give meditation a go? Head to our blog on How To Start A Regular Meditation Process.