Nowadays, people are more becoming more appreciative of meditation since it has a lot of advantages. Originally thought to be complicated and hard to practice, people all over the globe now attest to its simplicity. In this article, we will discuss its different types and the positive effects of meditating regularly.
What is meditation?
Before we discuss the science-backed positive effects of meditating regularly, let’s first define meditation.
Meditation is the act of attaining a state of consciousness. However, the “consciousness” referred to here is different from the normal consciousness when you’re awake.
Meditation is about knowing all levels of yourself and attuning yourself with your surroundings.
In simpler words, meditation is the practice of resting the mind. When the mind is well-rested, we can reach a deeper level of awareness. This is the reason why most people associate meditation with mindfulness.
What are the positive effects of meditating regularly?
At this point, you must be wondering: once my mind has rested, what will happen? What benefits can I get? You can find the positive effects of meditating regularly below:
It keeps the brain young
The first of the positive effects of meditating regularly is that it keeps the brain young. In a UCLA study, researchers found out that participants with over 20 years of meditation had more grey matter volume than non-meditators.
Grey matter is responsible for perception, including emotions, decision-making, self-control, and memory. This part of the brain also decreases in size as we age. The fact that the meditators had bigger grey matter than non-meditators is truly promising.
It improves concentration and attention
There’s no denying that the lack of concentration and attention affects not only kids but also adults. In one study, the researchers checked if a 2-week mindfulness meditation training can improve cognitive performance.
They also examined if meditation can decrease “mind-wandering” or the tendency to get distracted. The results showed that the participants who meditated gained better scores in a reading-comprehension test. They also gained better memory and reported less occurrence of distracting thoughts.
It reduces stress
And of course, one of the best positive effects of meditating regularly is stress reduction. Experts say that living without stress is impossible because there are a lot of things you cannot control. You can, however, change how you view stress and your response to it.
One study aimed to determine the effects of an 8-week meditation program called Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) on stress-related inflammation. When inflammation is not controlled, it can cause a lot of diseases. The researchers found out that MSBR is a better way to reduce “post-stress inflammatory response” than another program called the Health Enhancement Program (HEP).
It helps people manage physical illnesses
Being able to manage the physical symptoms of diseases is one of the positive effects of meditating regularly. According to experts, meditation may be useful to soothe the symptoms of different illnesses, especially those that are affected by stress. Some of those stress-related diseases are asthma, chronic pain, hypertension, and tension headaches.
What are the types of meditation?
Of course, before you can take advantage of the positive effects of meditating regularly, you must first practice it. The good news is, there are several types of meditation to choose from. They are:
To get the most out of the positive effects of meditating regularly, you can try mindfulness meditation. The greatest thing about mindfulness meditation is you can do it almost anywhere, anytime. To start, you must focus on your breath and let everything else fade into the background.
Note that you must not judge your breathing – it’s okay if it’s fast, or shallow, or deep. For a few minutes, think of nothing else. If your mind wanders, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Just get back on focusing on your breathing. The act of not thinking about anything else gives your mind the well-deserved rest it needs.
In mantra meditation, you choose a statement or word and repeat it until it’s the only thing you focus on. The simplest mantra is the word “Ohm,” but you can change it according to your preference.
Body Scan Meditation
You can also gain the positive effects of meditating regularly through body scan meditation. Because it makes you aware of your body, you will also notice if certain parts don’t feel well.
In Body Scan, you need to focus on your body parts one at a time. Start with your head. Feel the skin, then your eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Focus on your neck, down to your shoulders, arms, fingers, and further down until you reach your toes.
After a body scan meditation not only has your mind taken a rest, but you also become more aware of your body.
Guided meditation is perhaps the best way to start practicing meditation. In Guided meditation, a “teacher” will guide you through the session. You can go ahead and enroll in a meditation class, but if you don’t want to, you can also use other channels.
As of now, there are a lot of videos and podcasts offering guided meditation online. You can also search offers in meditation websites. Finally, some apps offer guided meditation.
Please note that there are guided meditations for both mindfulness meditation and body scan.
3 tips to get the positive effects of meditating regularly
To achieve the positive effects of meditating regularly, you can do the following.
- Practice regularly. To become a regular meditator, you must meditate as if it’s your routine. It will help if you to do it after a daily habit. For example, you can meditate right after drinking your morning coffee.
- Get creative with your setting. You don’t need to dedicate a whole room for meditation, although you can do that, too, if you want. Your room, garden, or deck will do, as long as you won’t get distracted.
- Assume a comfortable position. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to sit cross-legged to meditate. Find a comfortable position that works and stick with it.
Key Takeaways on the Positive Effects of Meditating Regularly
Resting the mind and gaining awareness allows you to enjoy the positive effects of meditating regularly. Choose a meditation style and start practicing it even for just a few minutes daily. Soon enough you’ll be reaping the benefits of meditation on your overall health and well-being.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.