In the past few decades, researchers have been gaining deep insights into the surprising health benefits of mindfulness meditation. It has been successfully proven to help people deal with a variety of psychological pain and issues. More recent researches have suggested that mindfulness meditation not only benefits our minds but our bodies as well.
Multiple clinical and cognitive therapy programs now suggest doing mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and depression, treat eating disorders, and promote health and longevity.
Though it cannot be a standalone treatment for any disease or illness, it can definitely be an excellent add-on towards living a healthy lifestyle.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness Meditation is an ancient practice of becoming more aware of the present moment. That is, to stay more present in the moment which is happening in the now. It is an effective tool to increase physical relaxation and enhance your psychological well-being.
With practice and sincerity, you can reap the benefits of mindfulness meditation and progress towards living a more healthy and peaceful life. Simply focusing on the present moment in silence and calming your inner voice can do a lot for your inner health.
Here are some of the extraordinary health benefits of mindfulness meditation that are backed by science.
Health Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
1. Mindfulness Meditation Help Manage Chronic Pain
Millions of people suffer from chronic pain and illness, whether due to some medical condition or as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mindfulness meditation can help manage chronic pain in a healthier way. According to a 2010 research, meditation can help people cope up with the pain and improve their psychological well-being during the process.
Studies have indicated that mindfulness meditation can be used with evidence-based treatment to help people overcome various illnesses. This is because it gives powerful additional support to the recovery process.
2. Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Cognitive Decline
Several investigations have shown that mindfulness meditation can protect the brain from the normal cortical thinning or cognitive decline that happens due to aging. A 2014 review of studies tells us that meditation may be able to make up for age-related cognitive decline. It can even enhance cognitive functioning in older adults.
Meditation works for your brain, just like the gym works for your muscles. People dealing with depression have lots of negative thoughts and beliefs. Meditation works as an anti-depressant medicine and allows us to respond with equanimity and compassion.
Also read: 5 Meditation Techniques For Beginners
3. Mindfulness Meditation Lowers Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Mindfulness meditation decreases activities in certain areas of the brain that are responsible for psychological pain. Researchers found that a single session can have a measurable improvement in anxiety levels. They also noted further improvements in the anxiety levels after one week of regular meditation sessions.
In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn developed a program called Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Studies based on that program have found that it has effectively contributed in reducing the stress hormone (cortisol) in many adults.
Mindfulness meditation sessions may also reduce cardiovascular risk in people with moderate anxiety.
4. Mindfulness Meditation Improves Immune System
Studies found that mindfulness meditation helped in increasing the level of T-cell activity in HIV patients. This means meditation may help to fight the disease that calls upon immune cells.
Mindfulness meditation also appears to reduce anti-inflammatory processes. It also increases enzyme activity that guards against cell aging. This means meditation practices over time help build resilience and may lead to a reduced risk of inflammatory diseases.
5. Mindfulness Meditation Help You Get Better Sleep
Mindfulness meditation is already proven to influence the brain functions positively. No doubt, it can also be a useful technique in dealing with sleep disorders. It helps to break your train of thoughts and worries that contribute to sleeping problems.
Sleep deprivation causes significant negative impacts on your physical and mental health. According to reports, practicing mindfulness can help reduce certain factors that cause poor night’s sleep. Research on older adults found significant improvement in sleep quality for the short-term.
How do I achieve mindfulness?
People most of the time are caught up thinking about the past or the future. This tends to make them run on the autopilot and ignore the present moment. To be in the state of mindfulness means to be fully aware of the present and live that moment of life with happiness. However, in order to do that, you need to learn how to gently bring your focus and attention back to the present.
You can begin your practice by drawing attention to your breathing, or anything that you are comfortable with. With regular practice, you will be more able to accept the present moment and make peace with reality.
Why mindfulness meditation is not working for me?
This is what most people fail to understand about mindfulness meditation. They take it as a tool to achieve or accomplish something and fail miserably. They built around so many expectations off their practice. However, in actuality, it is about being devoid of it.
Mindfulness is about being fully immersed in the process, being here in the now, not trying to get somewhere. When you understand this, you will be more likely to get the clarity mindfulness brings.
Mindfulness meditation can have an impact on your overall health – not just mental, but also physical. If you are curious to understand more about meditation, make it a part of your daily routine. The most effective evidence will be your own practice.
Most importantly, once you begin to experience these benefits of mindfulness meditation, you will be more likely to include it as a part of your daily self-care routine.
Hello reader, I’m Abhishek Shankhwar, a passionate health enthusiast and a digital marketer by profession. As a health and wellness writer, I feel obligated to inform, inspire, and reach out to so many people. In the meantime, you’ll always find me reading books, writing inspiring content, and cooking delicious food. Connect with me on LinkedIn.