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Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years as a way to achieve relaxation, mindfulness, compassion and transcendental states. Yogis use meditation to increase physical awareness of the body through different poses. No matter what type of meditation someone practices, each form has basic benefits, notes the Huffington Post.


Meditation allows the human mind to control emotional states. As expert Shrimati Bhanu Narasimhan says, “Meditation is mind without agitation.” Noting the intense relationship between the body and mind, practitioners can regulate their own nervous systems with meditative states, which includes reducing stress.


Meditation increases focus, concentration and memory while reducing mental distractions. This leads to better multitasking throughout the day, which comes in handy at the office. Better multitasking leads to greater productivity.


Many people use meditation to learn how to stop smoking, eat healthier, stop drinking and eschew other bad habits that ruin health. Eating healthier leads to weight loss, better blood pressure, a healthier heart, improved immunity and lessened premenstrual syndrome symptoms in women, according to Live and Dare. Making better lifestyle choices due to meditation improves overall health.


Studies have shown scans that indicate brain signals increase on the left side of the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for positive emotions, during meditation. Meanwhile, activity on the left side of this area decreases, which shows negative emotions abate during meditation. This fosters a greater sense of well-being in people who meditate.


Turning thoughts inward during meditation lets people explore their inner minds and emotions. As such, practitioners may develop better self-awareness. People who meditate know how to confront emotional states before they become a problem. Instead of letting anger, hate, jealousy and discontentment take over someone’s psyche, meditation teaches people to be mindful of these emotions, analyze them and detach from negative emotions.


Some studies show older people who meditate maintain better cognitive skills than those who don’t. Older meditators have more gray matter, more brain cells and longer telomeres. These telomeres indicate biological age rather than chronological age. People with longer telomeres tend to have younger bodies and younger brains. Meditation may not prolong life, but it could slow the affects of the aging process within the brain.


Akin to mindfulness and self-awareness, meditation helps people accept situations that may not have positive outcomes. Inner exploration of the mind could lead to better outcomes simply by being mindful of better choices based on what happens in life.


Aside from making better lifestyle choices, the body physically reacts better when people meditate. Nitric oxide builds up in blood vessels as the body relaxes during meditation. This substance opens blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure. A small study in 2008 showed 40 of 60 patients could stop taking blood pressure medication after meditating.

Do you meditate?

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