8 SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
You may have experienced that meditation is right for you, but is this only because you think and believe that, or are there scientifically-proven benefits of meditation?
Meanwhile, many studies have been conducted into the connection between mind and body and what effects meditation would have. I am not a researcher, but I love it when science shows what I already believe and experience inside.
Eight proven benefits of meditation
1. Improved concentration
During meditation, you practice concentrating, so it makes sense that this also improves your concentration and focus. it has been shown that meditation (mindfulness meditation) can make wandering in thought decrease and that you become better at solving problems
It also has a long-term effect, as various studies show that deconcentration has improved for up to 5 years after training.
2. Helps against stress
This is, of course, what everyone is talking about, meditation as a solution for reducing stress. Studies show that through meditation, you recover physically and mentally faster from stress and stressful situations.
What I find very special is that it can be observed that the inflammatory response in a stressful situation diminishes in people who have been meditating for a long time.
3. Reduced anxiety
In addition to stress, many people suffer from anxiety or panic (attacks). Fortunately, meditation can contribute to reducing anxiety.
In the fMRI scans of a Harvard University study, it became clear that the amygdala (part of the brain responsible especially for anxiety and stress response) was less active in people who practice meditation than people who do not practice meditation.
4. Lowers your blood pressure
This research shows that high blood pressure can be lowered by transcendence meditation. Too high blood pressure increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and often occurs in people who experience a lot of stress.
5. Better handling of pain
We now know that pain is different for everyone. After all, we all have a different pain threshold. Pain is fascinating and has kept researchers busy for years. It has been shown that meditation with a focus on breathing can reduce the experience of pain. People who often practice Vipassana meditation have less resistance to what appears in the moment. And with that also pain.
6. Better handling of emotions
After meditating 20 minutes a day for 8 weeks (with a focus on breathing), it has been observed that there is more cohesion between the areas in the brain that become active with the emotions; angry, happy, sadness and relaxation. The feelings deviate less from each other, and there is less aversion to the feelings. This means that emotions can be processed better and that you stay in one emotionless.
7. Increases your resistance
Not only are you more resilient through regular meditation, but also physically, your strength increases if you practice meditation regularly. This research shows that after training in meditation and more immunoglobulin (antibodies) are present in the body.
8. Sleep better
So you become calm from meditation, can handle stress and emotions better, but do you also sleep better?
So yes! A study was done on 49 people who had difficulty sleeping. Half of the group did a mindfulness training, the other half-asleep training. The training lasted 2 hours per week for 6 weeks for both groups. After these 6 weeks, the people in the mindfulness training group had less sleeplessness, were less tired, and indicated to be less depressed than the other test group.