Meditation has been around for many years, but it is only recently that people have realized its numerous benefits. This practice can minimize stress, improve the clarity of mind, and promote happiness.
The good news is that meditation is easy to practice. You don’t need to use numerous candles when meditating.
Anyone can do it in the comfort of your home. You don’t even have to spend hours doing it. Set aside a few minutes of your day for it and you’ll see why many people are raving about meditation benefits.
You may have asked before: ”what is meditation for?” This article will give you three critical reasons to start meditating today.
Why is meditation important for students?
The importance of meditation in academic life primarily lies in its ability to relieve stress and tension, clear the mind, and lengthen the attention span of students.
Meditation can have a positive impact not only on the academic skills but also social skills and well-being of students.
One academic study reviewed the effects of meditation on students in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Canada, and Taiwan.
Its findings showed that practicing meditation enhances the academic and social skills of students.
Meditation also improves the well-being of the pupils. The study was published in the Educational Psychology Review.
It pointed out that students who meditated were more optimistic in comparison with their peers who did not learn meditation. It also showed that students who learned how to meditate are more optimistic.
They likewise experienced less anxiety and depression.
It also proved that meditation enhanced the learning and academic skills of students.
Meditation helped them to focus better and process information faster. Students who learned meditation have better working memory. They were also more creative, according to the study findings.
Students who have difficulties in focusing should practice meditation now as it can help them improve their attention span.
One academic study showed that meditation can lengthen the attention span of participants.
In that study, participants went through an eight-week meditation course. At the end of the meditation course, they showed an enhanced ability to focus on their tasks.
There have been studies, too, that prove meditation can boost the academic performance of students. In fact, even a brief mindfulness meditation session before a class can improve the performance of students in school.
One study published in the Mindfulness Journal showed that meditation before the start of a class can enable students to focus better.
The study, conducted by Dr. Robert Youman of the George Mason University and Jared Ramsburg of the University of Illinois, involved classroom experiments in verifying whether meditation can aid students in retaining information.
The researchers randomly selected students to undergo basic meditation before a lecture. They later found that students who did so had higher scores in the quiz compared to those who did not practice meditation.
How does meditation help the brain?
Enhanced attention span and increased cognitive abilities are not the only effects of meditation on the brain. Numerous studies show that regularly meditating can increase the size of the brain. This can boost a person’s mood and lower anxiety.
One study conducted by researchers from the University of Oregon showed that regular mindfulness meditation practice can result in physical changes of the brain, which can protect against mental illness.
Using a type of MRI imaging technique called diffusion tensor imaging, the researchers found that two weeks of meditation hiked the number of signaling connections in the brain.
Moreover, four weeks of meditation enhanced protective tissue around the anterior cingulate region of the brain. The participants also reported having better moods and lower anxiety after practicing mindfulness meditation.
The researchers also wrote that these changes in white matter could provide a means for preventing mental disorders in the future.
There’s another research from a team of experts from Harvard University which showed the impact of meditation in emotion regulation. It specifically noted that physical changes in the brain caused by meditation boosts emotion regulation.
The study was published in the Psychiatry Research Journal. During the test, the researchers examined the brain scans of those who had undergone mindfulness meditation training.
The researchers concluded that eight weeks of continuous meditation can thicken the hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls memory and learning. It’s also linked to the mind through emotion regulation.
Scientists believe that mental health disorders like depression are connected to the decreased volume of the hippocampus. Therefore, people who meditated regularly are happier and at less risk of depression.
The brain-related benefits of meditation also include protection against the ill-effects of aging. Numerous studies have shown that meditation can help protect the brain against aging and degeneration.
In 2013, neuroscientist Eileen Luders from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) reviewed the results of various brain-imaging studies.
Those studies examined the differences in the brains between meditators and non-meditators. The meditators practiced meditation for a minimum of 2 years up to a maximum of 35 years.
In general, the human brain shrinks by about 5% per decade after a person reaches the age of 40 years.
But in her research, Luders found that the people who meditated regularly showed a less age-related decline compared to those who did not meditate. Interestingly, meditators showed less decline in the volume of brain gray matter.
Two years later, experts from the same university conducted a similar study. The findings of their experiment supported those of Luders. It proved that meditation helps preserve brain gray matter.
In that study, the researchers compared the brains of 50 meditators against those who didn’t meditate. The meditators had done so regularly for more than 20 years. The researchers found that while both groups experienced the loss of brain matter as they aged, meditators’ brains declined less.
Therefore, meditation helps our mind by protecting the brain. Meditation can help increase attention span and improve our ability to focus.
The risks of mental health disorders may also decrease if you regularly meditate. Moreover, enough scientific findings are proving that meditation can minimize the ill-effects of aging on the brain.
What are the spiritual benefits of meditation?
Meditation can promote numerous improvements in both physical and mental health. It is also effective in boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure. It can also enable people to better handle anxiety, reduce stress, and enjoy a better quality of life.
Yet many people get started on meditation because they enjoy its spiritual benefits. Let’s take a look at some of those advantages.
Achieving inner peace is one of the spiritual benefits of meditating. With regular meditation, you can achieve a calm, focused, and peaceful self. You can handle stress better and enable you to restore your inner peace.
You will also gain more insights into your thoughts, behavior, and actions. These reflections will help you better understand yourself and give you inputs on how to enhance your life.
You will also be happier when you practice meditation regularly. When you learn to process your thoughts through meditation, you’d be able to release not only stress but also negative thoughts.
You can learn how to let go of negativity and focus on the bigger picture. You’ll become a happier and more peaceful person.
To sum things up, meditation goes beyond lowering blood pressure or boosting the immune system. It is also more than improving physical health.
Meditation helps people dealing with mental health problems. It is one of the best ways to clear your mind and wipe away stress.
Meditation can also help you achieve inner peace and enjoy a more peaceful life.
With all these good effects of meditation, why don’t you get started on it?