How Meditation Can Improve Mental Health
Like the old adage that says an apple a day keeps the doctor away, we can say that an Aum a day can keep stress at bay. Meditation, which has always been associated with yogis and spirituality has now become more mainstream. From studios that teach the nuances of meditation to apps that let you meditate at your own pace, modern society has accepted meditation as a beneficial practice for mental and physical wellbeing.
How Does Meditation Help Mental Health?
Regular practitioners of meditation can tell you that there are different types of meditation, including Sahaj, which means effortless to those that are based on yoga, mindfulness, and transcendentalism. Regardless of the type you choose, here are a few ways in which meditation can benefit mental wellness:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Stress is a major concern in today’s fast-paced lifestyle; numerous studies show an increase in the usage of anti-anxiety medications as a result. Stress can disturb the mind and body, while meditation can help relax the mind and wipe away the disturbances.
Practicing meditation regularly could help improve the brain’s ability to process stress, allowing individuals to regain control of their emotions. A study conducted based on mindfulness-based stress reduction showed positive results where people with generalized anxiety disorder, symptomized by uncontrollable worries, disturbed sleep, and irritability experienced high levels of relief.
It is quite natural that once you are stress-free, there is more space for happiness in your life. Studies have shown that meditation helps increase the brain’s signaling on the left side of the prefrontal cortex, which regulates positive emotions.
Improved activity in this area has also been linked to the betterment of the immune system. As the left side increases its activity, the right side slows the projection of negative thoughts and emotions.
Improves Concentration and Memory
Studies have shown that regular meditation could also help improve concentration, memory, and the ability to multitask. All this is made possible by the increased energy that meditation provides to the body and mind.
A study conducted by researchers in the Massachusetts General Hospital shows that just eight weeks of meditation considerably increases the brain’s gray matter in areas including the hippocampus, which is the storeroom for different types of memories.
Even if you have never meditated until today, there is always a first time. Start with short sessions of 5 minutes a day and gradually increase it to a comfortable duration. Start your day with a few minutes of meditation and be guaranteed a sound, focused mind to tackle the rest of your crazy day.
- Marturana, A. (2016, September 14). Here’s Why Meditation Is So Amazing For Your Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.self.com/story/heres-why-meditation-is-so-amazing-for-your-mental-health
- Meditation. (2016, October 04). Retrieved from http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/meditation
- Corliss, J. (2017, October 03). Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967
- Bushak, L. (2015, January 24). Meditation Changes The Brain’s Very Structure – In A Good Way. Retrieved from https://www.medicaldaily.com/mental-health-benefits-meditation-itll-alter-your-brains-grey-matter-and-improve-319298
- Krygier, J., & Kemp, A. H. (2018, June 21). Beyond spirituality: The role of meditation in mental health. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/beyond-spirituality-the-role-of-meditation-in-mental-health-4326
- O. (2017, December 07). 8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/19/meditation-benefits_n_5842870.html