More and more research is being conducted on the scientific effects of meditation on the mind and body. Meditation has been shown to impact various conditions ranging from depression, chronic pain, and insomnia to irritable bowel syndrome and high blood pressure. While the results vary among conditions and symptoms, across the board, meditation seems to make a difference in the quality of life and symptom management. We’ve made a list of seven notable scientific findings that confirm how you can significantly benefit from starting a meditation practice.
1.Improved Brain Function
Let’s begin! Perhaps the most astonishing meditation finding is the research done on the effects of meditation on the brain. Thanks to modern technology that allows us to look into the brain, we can see how meditation impacts brain function. Just as weight training builds your muscles, meditation builds neural connections.
A study from the University of British Columbia found thicker tissue in regions of the brain responsible for body awareness, enhanced focus, stress management, and focused attention in those who meditated consistently.
Those who meditate regularly also show a decreased amygdala, which is the brain region responsible for sadness, fear, and anxiety. Harvard researchers have found meditators in their 40s and 50s have similar brain structures as people in their 20s who don’t meditate. We like to think of it as a youth serum for your brain!
2.Improved Attention Span
This is a topic most of us can easily relate to. Do you have trouble staying dialed in during the workday? Meditation can also improve attention span according to one study. You don’t have to be a meditation master to reap the benefits. One finding showed an improvement in attention span with meditating for as little as four days!
Another study found that mindfulness meditation helped human resource workers stay on task longer and remember more details of the task at hand. Research suggests that meditation may even reverse brain patterns that contribute to worrying, mind-wandering, and low attention span. With all of the distractions we face in today’s world, we could all use some more focus. It’s time to add meditation breaks to your schedule!
3. Pain Management
Thirdly, due to the opioid problem in America, doctors are looking for new ways to treat chronic pain. Alternative therapies like meditation are being researched on the effectiveness of managing chronic pain symptoms. A study in 2016 by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health found that mindfulness meditation effectively controlled pain without using the brain’s naturally occurring opiates. In a separate study, they found that mindfulness-based stress reduction training treated pain more effectively than usual care.
4.Reduction in Stress
It’s no secret that most people in today’s society deal with stress in many ways. Stress causes an inflammation response in the body and can lead to many debilitating conditions. Many turn to meditation as a method for managing stress. But the question remains, is there scientific evidence linking meditation to stress reduction?
One study found a decreased inflammation response to stress in patients who practiced meditation. The American Heart Association suggests that evidence found that Transcendental Meditation even lowers blood pressure. If meditation can combat stress, which is the root cause of many illnesses and conditions, this can be proactively done to minimize the risk of disease and remain healthy.
This is especially relevant in today’s social climate. When it comes to anxiety, twenty-five studies showed superior outcomes in the meditation group vs. control group! The next time you’re feeling anxious, try a calming meditation in the JU App. If you have the app, you can find those right here!
Another common ailment that meditation positively impacts is headaches. One study found meditation provided significant relief in headaches, duration, and frequency when used in addition to standard treatment versus the group with standard treatment alone.
This will come in handy during the upcoming flu season! Findings show meditation results in fewer respiratory illnesses and fewer sick days at work, along with speedier recovery from illnesses.
try it out!
Meditation is, without a doubt, something everyone can benefit from. It’s no surprise that meditation has powerful effects beyond thoroughly calming us. Even though it has been practiced for thousands of years, the scientific research on meditation is still in its infancy.
We look forward to seeing this field of research grow and reach more people across the globe. For all kinds of beneficial meditations, be sure to download the latest version of the JU App!
Stephanie Keith, JU Presence Director, Luminary, and Founder of Law Of Attraction Tribe.