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5 Reasons Why Meditation Is Great For You

5 Reasons Why Meditation Is Great For You

I’m glad to witness a surging interest in meditation. Today meditation benefits people in all facets of life. Executives meditate for increased productivity and creativity. Law enforcers learn meditative breathing techniques to stay calm in life threatening situations. Millions meditate for stress relief and health benefits.

Similarly, there’s been a surge in meditation research, during the last 40 or so years. “Research in meditation has developed a strong foundation, demonstrating significant psychological, physiological and therapeutic effects, summarizes a study by Shauna Shapiro, a top psychologist and professor at Santa Clara University.

 

 

The benefits of meditation are many and scientists have established a link between meditation, health and, happiness. “Studies show that meditation has positive effects on a person’s happiness and positive emotions, on physiology, stress, cognitive abilities and physical health, as well as on other harder-to-assess attributes, like self-actualization and moral maturity,” states Sonja Lyubomirsky, a leading psychologist investigating the science of happiness.

Meditation is indeed great for you and a sustained practice gives you the best results. “Research reveals that a series of regular meditation sessions produce greater happiness and less anxiety and depression, “ Lyubomirsky continues, in her book “The How Of Happiness”.

 

5 Reasons To Get Your Tush On The Meditation Cushion

The following findings were published in the above mentioned analysis of recent meditation research by leading psychologists Shauna Shapiro, Roger Walsh and Willoughby Britton.

 

1. Increased Concentration And Attention

In one study, results showed that performance related to attention and accuracy was heightened in a group of meditators as compared to a control group that did not meditate. In addition, long-term meditators demonstrated greater attention capabilities than short-term meditators. It seems that the more you meditate the better the effects are. The study concluded that meditation appears to result in improvements in aspects of intelligence, school grades, learning ability, and short- and long-term recall.

 

2. Increases In Cognitive Abilities And Creativity

One hundred fifty-four Chinese high school students were randomized into a meditation group and a napping group. The meditation group demonstrated significantly increased practical intelligence, field independence, creativity, and speed of information processing, as well as significantly decreased anxiety compared to the control group. Two other studies replicated these findings.

 

3. Increased Self-Esteem

One study, revealed a significant increase in positive personality growth. As the length of meditation practice grew so did self-esteem. Specifically, meditators with more experience reported themselves to be more confident, relaxed, satisfied, conscientious and less anxious than their less experienced peers.

 

4. Increased Levels Of Empathy & Decreased Levels Of Anxiety And Depression

A study examined the effects of a meditation program on 78 medical and premedical students. Results showed increased levels of empathy and decreased levels of anxiety and depression in the meditation group as compared to the control group. Furthermore, these results held during the students’ stressful exam period. Luckily for the control group, the findings were replicated when they received the same meditation intervention.

 

5. Self-actualization And Spirituality

In the same study as the one noted above in #4, the meditation group scored significantly higher on a measure of spiritual experience. The results were again replicated when the control group received the same treatment.

 

Ok, here’s just one more, let’s call it a bonus reason to inspire you to get that meditation practice started!

 

6. Health Benefits

You’ve probably heard that meditative practices are being utilized in a variety of health care settings. According to the study, these practices are used as interventions for: cardiovascular disorders, reduction of psychological distress, and reduction of medical symptoms. The research suggests that meditation may be an effective intervention for: cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, anxiety, and panic disorder, substance abuse, dermatological disorders, reduction of psychological distress and symptoms of distress for cancer patients.

 

And you know what, there’s more. In addition the following benefits were also associated with meditation practice; stress-hardiness, happiness, positive sense of control, heightened perception and improvements in reaction time and responsive motor skill.

 

So, it’s clearly beneficial to start, and to sustain one’s meditation practice. I know it can be hard, especially when your life is busy. But, on the other hand – meditation is also most beneficial when you’re going through a busy spell with increased stress levels.

Starting your practice can feel  baffling at first, especially since you’d want to experience all the benefits from the get-go. From my own experience I can tell that you should not worry about performance and getting results – just start, and keep on going, and do your daily practice. The same way you brush your teeth every day, right? 🙂 Indeed, it’s a little bit like taking the pills you got from the pharmacy; if you skip the pill, or your meditation exercise, you will not get the desired results. It’s the long run that matters, and you build that by the actions you do every day. So, get started today, and results will come!

In conclusion, I’m happy I could share these findings with you and hope that it will inspire you to start meditation – in any form. You can start right away with our own guided meditation app too.

 

Peace,

Chris

 

Ps. Read about why your happiness is essential.

 

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