One of the most valuable things you can do for your health and sanity in our high tech/high stress world is to take time each day to meditate. We can all learn to handle the physical and emotional effects of stress. Meditation may be the antidote to stress. Studies have found that those who practice Meditation techniques have more energy, improved sense of wellbeing and self esteem, and less depression and anxiety. In this article you will find a list of evidence based benefits of meditation but also tips and video’s on how to do it.
A small sample of the evidence base on the benefits of meditation
Stress increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This produces many of the harmful effects of stress, such as the release of inflammation-promoting chemicals called cytokines.
Decreases Blood Pressure
A study of 996 volunteers found that when they meditated reduced blood pressure by about five points, on average. This was more effective among older volunteers and those who had higher blood pressure prior to the study (41).
One study used functional MRI techniques to observe brain activity as participants experienced a painful stimulus. Meditators showed increased activity in the brain centers known to control pain. They also reported less sensitivity to pain (40).
Improves concentration and Attention Span
A study of human resource workers who regularly practiced mindfulness meditation stayed focused on a task for longer. They also remembered details of their tasks better than their peers who did not practice meditation (24).
May Reduce Age-Related Memory Loss
Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young. A review of 12 studies found that meditation increased attention, memory and mental quickness in older volunteers (28). Meditation can at least partially improve memory in patients with dementia. It can also help control stress and improve coping in those caring for family members with dementia (27, 29).
Meditation reduces symptoms of anxiety
A larger study in 2,466 participants also showed that a variety of different meditation strategies may reduce anxiety levels (11).
Meditators fall asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn’t meditate (39).
Meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself. A study of women fighting breast cancer found that when they took part in a tai chi program, their self-esteem improved more than it did than in those who received social support sessions (20).
In another study, 40 senior men and women who took a mindfulness meditation program experienced reduced feelings of loneliness, compared to a control group that had been placed on a wait list for the program (21).
Improves Emotional Health
Mindfulness meditation decreased depression in over 4,600 adults (1, 14). If you’re interested in incorporating meditation into your routine, try a few different styles and consider guided exercises to get started with one that suits you.
What is Mindfulness meditation?
Trying to understand what meditation is? Here is a short vieo with Dr. Amishi Jha a mindfulness researcher with the University of Miami. She gives a simple explanation of meditation that would act a a good intro.
Watch the video https://youtu.be/7FccK9UjuF0
Best Meditation Apps for 2018
Here is a cool list of the best Apps out there to help you take advantage of the benefits of meditation. it was compiled by Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/top-meditation-iphone-android-apps#calm
My Favorite is the Insight Timer APP for Qi Breathing and healing sounds meditation.
iPhone rating: ★★★★★
Android rating: ★★★★★
Check out more than 4,500 free guided meditations from over 1,000 meditation practitioners with this app. It also gives you access to 750 meditation music tracks. Customize your meditation using the background sounds and meditation tool intervals to create a unique experience that works best for you. To listen offline, you can also purchase a monthly subscription.