In recent years, scientific studies have focused on the benefits of meditation on our brains. And the amazing thing is that each study attributes a benefit to meditation. Science and new technologies only confirm the benefits of meditation on the brain.
Meditation is a relaxing activity that can improve health in many ways. Studies show that meditation has a protective effect on the heart, promotes sleep, strengthens the immune system, calms anxiety, and lowers the risk of depression.
Today, more and more people are practicing meditation, and the media is picking up on the subject.
Mindfulness or meditation is training the mind to focus on the present moment intentionally and without judgment.
Whether you are convinced, simply curious, or even sceptical, here are 10 benefits of meditation for your mental health.
1.Reduce stress and anxiety:
Research in the medical field has shown that regular meditation can improve mental health, help better regulate emotions, and help reduce stress and anxiety.
Indeed, by meditating we learn to settle down and to concentrate on ourselves, by putting aside for a moment all the anxiety-inducing factors which surround us. The goal is not to pretend they don’t exist, but to gain height and look at them with a new eye.
2. Develop your attention skills:
By practicing mindfulness, we learn to notice that our actions are often performed on autopilot, without thinking about it. We can then learn to focus on one thing at a time, without being constantly caught by the comings and goings of our thoughts, and thus reduce multitasking and set clear intentions on our priorities.
According to a study by the Institute for Mindful Leadership, after 7 weeks of meditation, only 2% of participants had difficulty concentrating on a project (compared to 28% previously). In addition, 75% of them were able to pay full attention in a meeting, and 77% were able to notice when their attention was gone and bring it back to the present moment, compared to only 29% before.
3. Better manage pain:
Mindfulness programs have been developed to help people cope better with pain, in particular, to accept it better. When we know that nearly one in five European adults and around 12 million French people suffer from chronic pain and 2.6 million from neuropathic pain, meditation could therefore be beneficial for many.
4. Boost your creativity:
Meditation also allows us to approach change beyond our usual patterns, and thus be more creative. According to a study published in The Journal of Creative Behaviour, doing a meditation exercise increases the blood flow to the brain and affects brain waves. That is ultimately helping to develop systemic intelligence and thus gain clarity in the brain. solving complex problems.
5. More peaceful sleep:
According to recent research (the interest in the subject is still very new), Practicing mindfulness in addition to cognitive behavioral therapy would reduce the night’s awakening time and decrease the state of hypervigilance during the night. Enough to give hope to the people who suffer from sleep disorders.
6. Develop altruism and leadership:
Many organizations have decided to implement mindfulness meditation programs on a global scale, it is because the individual benefits are also added to the positive effects in the group.
A study has shown that decision-makers have a better perception of their skills after a 12-week training course: shared vision, moral intelligence, motivation. Mindfulness, therefore, reinforces leadership qualities.
7. And for children too!
Adults are not the only ones who can benefit from the benefits of this practice. Indeed, research also has showed a positive effect of mindfulness meditation on children and adolescents. Among the benefits of this practice, meditation can allow children to gain a better understanding of their mental patterns, and help them better accept and manage their emotions, develop better relationships with others.
8. Improves concentration:
It is not just children who are prone to concentration problems. Millions of adults have the same challenges whether or not they have ADD. This is why it is interesting to point out that one of the most important benefits of meditation is that it improves our ability to concentrate.
In a recent study, researchers analysed the effect of meditation on the performance of participants in an oral reasoning test. Only 2 weeks of meditation training was enough to improve the concentration and memory skills of the participants.
9. Slows down the aging of the brain:
According to a study from the University of California (UCLA) which looked at aging, the brains of people who have practiced meditation for several years are better preserved than that of people who do not.
People who have been meditating for over 20 years have more grey matter in their brains. This is not to say that there is no loss of grey matter over time in people who meditate. On the other hand, this loss is less pronounced than in people who never practice meditation.
10. Reduces symptoms of depression as well as antidepressants:
The relationship between meditation and its ability to reduce symptoms of depression, as well as to alleviate anxiety and pain. Meditation is therefore an active form of brain training. A lot of people think that doing meditation is just sitting down and doing nothing. But this perception is wrong. Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase our ability to be “mindful”.
Better ability to concentrate and accept emotions, improve sleep and promote creativity: whatever our situation, mindfulness has benefits to bring us. But beware, no miracle recipe, like any practice, to feel the benefits, you have to practice regularly and over the long term.