5 Benefits of Regular Meditation

The positive effects of meditation can greatly affect the quality of your daily life. This ancient practice, particularly when practiced on a regular basis, provides beneficial and lasting effects which impact all aspects of your life.

The following are some of the reasons why you should practice meditation every day:

  1. Meditation strengthens the immune system

Chronic stress weakens the immune response and makes the person more prone to disease and sickness. As regular meditation regulates stress response, it is no wonder that it strengthens the immune system. According to a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 8-week meditation training “resulted in a significantly smaller post-stress inflammatory response” in the participants’ brains

  1. Meditation decreases anxiety and meditation

It has been scientifically shown that regular meditation helps relieve anxiety and depression symptoms, sometimes even better than prescription drugs designed for this purpose.  This research shows that meditation alters the structure and function of certain brain areas, including the ones affected by episodes of anxiety and depression.

In a huge meta-analysis, researchers from John Hopkins University conclude that the key benefit of meditation is anxiety relief.  Other studies show that meditation helps with various anxiety and depression conditions, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD)/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), addictions, social anxiety, bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

  1. Meditation increases resilience to stress

Stress or distress is stimulated by cortisol, a hormone released when the brain identifies something as a stressor.  While stress is genetically determined to ensure species survival, a large percentage of scientific literature concludes that meditation done on a regular basis decreases emotional reactivity.

According to a study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, meditation increases resilience to stress by suppressing the activity of amygdala. Amygdala, is the brain’s emotional center, “responsible for detecting fear and preparing for emergency events.”

  1. Meditation enhances our ability to focus and pay attention

Mindful meditation requires attention on an activity or an object, so it is no wonder that it helps improve our ability to focus on everyday events.

Scientific literature demonstrates that regular meditation inhibits the tendency of the brain to function on “autopilot.” Brain scans on people who have been practicing meditation on the long-run show increased activity in the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex (lPFC), which allows us to pay attention as we dismiss non-relevant stimulate actively.

According to Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. and Richard Davidson, say “(meditation) undergirds a huge range of what makes us effective in the real world – everything from learning, to realizing we’ve had a creative insight, to seeing a project through to its end.”

  1. Meditation increases pain tolerance

According to Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., meditators process pain in a different way compared to the rest of us, adding that “Meditators pay more attention to the direct sensation of pain. In laboratory studies that deliver painful stimulation, meditators’ brains show more activity in areas associated with sensory processing … non-meditators (show) more activity in areas associated with evaluation and language.”