7 Benefits of Meditation

Almost every spiritual belief system in the world has some form of meditation as part of its discipline. While it may take many forms, meditation at its most essential is time taken to clear the mind’s worries and focus deeply on a single calming thought, idea, mantra, or sound. It is usually supplemented with clear and slow breathing, or even a specific posture, like in yoga.

Meditation, once an exclusively religious discipline, has become a way for any person to enhance their life through habitual and consistent practice. Silicon Valley, for example, has become a place where meditative practice is as important to the daily agenda as taking calls or scheduling meetings. Below, we’ve listed 7 reasons why you might want to join millions of others in making meditation part of your routine.

1.)Meditation Reduces Depression & Anxiety

An article published in Cognitive Therapy and Research concluded that meditation over the course of 8 weeks improved the cognitive state of those with mood disorders, specifically depression and anxiety. According to the article, it reduced “ruminative thinking,” which leads to the negative emotional effects of depression.

2.)Meditation Increases Empathy & Social Connection

In an article published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, scientists found that meditation regularly led to daily increases of positive emotion, which led to deeper personal resources of social support. Essentially, meditation allowed people to become better parts of their community.

3.)Meditation Increases Immune Function

Multiple studies indicate that meditation increases the body’s antibody response to disease. One study found that those who meditate were able to produce significantly higher amounts of antibodies to influenza than those who do not.

4.)Meditation Allows You to Constructively Control Your Emotions

A study from the Stanford School of Medicine’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research found that meditation boosted people’s ability to regulate their emotional response. As a result, they were able to express emotions constructively rather than suppressing them or expressing them in unhealthy ways.

5.)Meditation Boosts Your Ability to Focus

An article published by the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems tested the effect of meditation on multitasking on a computer. While multitasking was not significantly different, people who meditate were more likely to focus better and remember what they did.

6.)Meditation Decreases Stress

Many studies have found that the body’s response to perceived threats can change through consistent meditation. Stress is combated by the body’s “relaxation response,” sometimes called the “rest and digest” response. Meditation boosts the body’s ability to mentally recover and relax, alleviating the effects of prolonged stress.

7.)Meditation Increases Overall Satisfaction with Life

Both practitioners and researchers agree that, regardless of the cause, meditation helps people feel and think more positively about their lives. There are no recorded negative effects of meditation—however, the positive effects are well-documented. Consider integrating meditation into your daily routine to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.