Meditation may seem like a very strange practice or an end in itself for those who approach it for the first time.
Actually meditating brings significant benefits both mentally and physically, in fact mind and body are in close relationship with each other, and everyone should introduce this good habit into their life, carve out 10-20 minutes a day to stop and take care of themselves.
The mental benefits of meditation
Meditation has very profound beneficial effects on our brain because it stimulates and / or modifies neural areas that usually remain dormant or that in any case are not stimulated enough during daily activities, as many studies have clearly shown (for example this, or this ). We can say that meditation activates and strengthens certain brain areas.
- Reduces stress
The first big benefit of meditation on the mind is stress reduction.
Changing the situations that cause us stress is often very difficult, or impossible in the short term, the only thing we can change is our reaction to these situations and meditating can certainly be a very effective way to better deal with stress.
When you sit down to meditate the mind calms down, breathing slows down and, as if by magic, when you get up from the pillow the stress has disappeared, or at least has faded.
- Improves concentration
By meditating we can discover the nature of the mind, which usually tends to be attracted to anything that passes in front of it and to jump from one thought to another. As you move forward in practice and your mind calms down, attention increases and you can stay focused on one thing only.
- Increases self-confidence
One of the most obvious benefits of meditation concerns inner peace: meditation helps identify one’s thoughts without having to process them emotionally and, for this reason, helps the brain to relax. When you meditate, you will notice many negative thoughts from the day just past, surfacing in your mind, especially when it comes to those about yourself and your abilities.
When this category of thoughts crosses and is chained to your flow of consciousness during a meditation session, you will notice how the negativity of thought will be processed rationally by your brain and will not “clog” it as it does when your mind is distracted by external stimuli. With a regular meditation exercise it will therefore be possible to improve your ability to manage these thoughts without being overwhelmed.
- Helps to live the present moment
Often we don’t realize it but if we reflect on it we realize that the mind is located most of the time in the past or in the future.
For example: when memories come to mind, when we would like to be somewhere else or when we worry about future problems in advance.
Meditation teaches us that past experiences are over, future experiences are illusions and it is totally useless to allow them to condition the present moment.
With practice and with increasing awareness of mental processes we can manage to be less controlled by all this and fully live the present moment, the “here and now”.
The physical benefits of meditation
Precisely because mind and body are in close relationship with each other, all these mental benefits also bring benefits on the physical plane.
- Helps relieve pain
A study carried out in 2011 by MIT has shown that it is possible to relieve pain thanks to meditation.
The concentration obtained during meditation sessions allows you to focus on one part of the body, allowing the body to decrease the sensation of pain. These researches also suggested that it would have been possible for some patients suffering from chronic pain to train thanks to meditation and to “protect” their mind from continuous pain.
- Improves the immune system
There are many studies that have shown how anxiety and stress make our lives worse day by day. One of the many negative aspects of stress is the lowering of the immune defenses: the most stressed and anxious people therefore tend to get sick more easily. It is precisely in this aspect that the benefits of meditation are more evident: a correct meditation allows to decrease all the chemical values related to stress, as well as the production of cortisol (the famous hormone that causes it), so as to act indirectly on the immune system and increase its defenses.
- Improves fertility
You may be interested to know that stress decreases fertility.
The negative aspects that this great enemy of ours has on our organism and how meditation can help us neutralize it is explained in the previous point.
- Improves body health
Meditation allows you to decrease blood pressure and increase serotonin production. This type of regulation of one’s body is extraordinary, because it teaches us to manage our biological functions and reach a level of calm and tranquility that will influence many other areas of our life.
Also, during meditation we are more focused on our breathing and this allows us to be more aware of it and improve its quality, and over time you can calm your breath every time you lose control of it.
An indirect effect of all the previous benefits is that meditation helps in social relationships.
To have a healthy and happy social life you need to be comfortable with yourself, be focused and calm and be emotionally stable, but when one of these factors is lacking, it is very easy to find yourself in difficulty with managing your social relationships.
Meditation helps and accompanies people to have a healthy and happy lifestyle, these I told you about are just a few of the benefits of this practice.
Sitting down to meditate for even 10 minutes a day brings infinite benefits not only to the mind but also to the body.
I hope this post has been helpful and has helped you understand the real importance of meditation.
Do you feel inspired to start meditating? Do you already practice meditation? Do you find yourself in the benefits that I have listed in this post? What other benefits do you feel you get from meditation?
Let me know in the comments!