From health benefits to improved cognition and intelligence, from success at work to more harmonious relationships, the benefits of meditation are much more powerful than we could ever have imagined. Here is an overview of the biggest benefits of meditation, based on latest scientific research.
Stress, depression and anxiety relief
The single biggest benefit of meditation is a more balanced nervous system and hormonal levels which eliminate any excessive flight-or-fight responses by our body. In other words, meditation has been shown to naturally lead to a calmer life. Another interesting study with teachers, confirmed that meditation significantly decreases work-related stress, burnout states, and various depressive symptoms. Anxiety disorders (panic attacks, anger, tenseness) are ‘rapidly and substantially’ reduced in the first few weeks of meditation practice.
Immune system and heart disease
Regular Meditation practice strengthens the body’s ability to resist disease by boosting immune cells fighting against viruses, bacteria and toxins. Another crucial benefit of meditation is that it reduces blood pressure on average by 7 mm/Hg. It also reduces such conditions as heart attack, aneurysm, artery damage, kidney failure etc. Mortality rates from various fatal heart conditions were cut by 48% with regular practice of meditation found a key study with patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.
Telomeres, the all-important chromosome endings which keep your cells fresh and healthy, have recently been shown to get a boost from regular meditation practice. This results in longer life and lower risk of being sick from various ailments.
Increased intelligence and work efficiency
Scientific studies shown that meditating improves the practitioner’s cognitive and intellectual abilities. This effect of ‘becoming smarter’ has been demonstrated by different types of intelligence tests. Meditation practice is also known to reduce the stress levels and improve decision making. This, in turn, leads to higher efficiency at work place in both small and big organizations. Meditating also leads to higher brain integration, which in turn sets the basis for mental alertness, original thought and creative problem-solving skills.
Alcohol, nicotine and drug addiction
Meditation significantly reduces addiction to and use of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. With regular practice, the abstinence strengthens naturally. Academic studies demonstrate that meditation has 50% of smokers quitting in two years after starting to meditate (three times more effective quit smoking rate than with therapy).
Correlation between regular meditation practice and healthy, harmonious relationships has been observed both at home and at work environments. Another study reported significantly greater marital satisfaction when the couple practice meditation. It is related to the fact that research shows that meditation practitioners have 5 times greater clarified gamma output (positive feelings like love, happiness and well-being).
Spiritual and transcendental experiences
Study on meditative experiences were characterized by the practitioners’ partial or complete absence of time, space, and body sense. A lot of practitioners also report alternate state of consciousness.