Meditation has so many benefits that it is really hard, to sum up, the three most important or top 3 benefits of meditation. But I have researched (1,2,3,4,5) and found these three as the most important benefits of meditation.
- Benefits of meditation to overcome depression
- Meditation to Ease Anxiety
- It can release stress
Meditation to overcome
Depression is characterized by the inability to stop unwanted thought and memories from the past and the present. This pattern of thinking is called rumination which affects the two major parts of the brain; the prefrontal cortex, and the hippocampus.
The prefrontal cortex controls the focus and attention, while the hippocampus controls learning and memory. Dr. Brandon Alderman from Rutgers University in New Jersey found that depressed people have a much smaller hippocampus than people who are not depressed. (6)
He again found that people who meditate regularly experience better brain-cell communications in the prefrontal cortex. Therefore, these people can focus and concentrate more on the present rather than dwelling in the past. They found that meditation helps depressed people snap out of their unpleasant pasts.
Here are some steps of meditation to overcome stress
Take A Straight Sit
Get a seat so that you can place your back straightened on it. Sit straight and place your feet on the floor comfortably.
Take Deep Breath
Shut your eyes and imagine the flow of air in and out of your respiratory system. Let your breathing flow naturally and don’t try to manipulate it. Be mindful of every sensation, and avoid passing judgment on the experience
Be Easy On Yourself
But as you develop the habit of meditating regularly, you will be able to develop the
Give Enough Time To Meditation
Give 5 to 10 minute every day to your meditation schedule in the beginning months. Then slowly increase it to 20 to 30 minutes a day. You will notice a natural calmness and peace of mind.
By implementing these steps in your meditation schedule regularly you will be able to control your thoughts dwelling in the past. And you notice that your depression is fading away and you are living a happier life.
Meditation to Ease Anxiety
Anxiety comes in when you have the habit of worrying, stressful situations, and negative thoughts. You can’t stay away from the thoughts that make you anxious. Meditation can benefit you to fight and refuse these thoughts.
The practice of mindfulness meditation can remove medical and psychological symptoms, perceived stress, and psychological well-being. (8)
In this study of three years follow-up of 18 volunteers were measured who had done 8 week of mindfulness meditation programme. When they evaluate after three years found that most of the volunteers are continuing to meditate and they have lower anxiety levels. (9)
This review done on meditative therapies for reducing stress found some efficacy of meditative therapies in reducing anxiety symptoms. (10)
American Psychological Association studied the stress in the job, satisfaction level, and psychological distress in medical professionals. They found that mindful meditation may be effective in reducing stress and increase the quality of life. (11)
Use these simple techniques to live a less anxious life
- Find a calm place to meditate
- Have a specific and dedicated time for meditation
- Experiment with different positions or styles of meditation
- Concentrate on the flow of air in and out of your airways
- Practice deep breathing and concentrate on it
- Count the number f seconds it takes to complete each breath
- Refocus your thoughts on breathing if it begins to drift from one place or one thing to another
- Speak a mantra like, “Ohm”, “Peace”, “Happy”, etc
- Enhance the time you meditate from 5 to 10 minutes to 20 to 30 minutes slowly
- Begin and end your session mindfully so that it help you transfer awareness to everything in your life.
It Can Release Stress
Meditation adds tremendous benefits to get relief from stress. Stress of both physical and mental increases the level of stress hormone called cortisol. It releases the inflammation-promoting chemicals called Cytokines which is very harmful to your body.
Research carried out at Stanford University 8 week study on mindfulness meditation effectiveness at reducing stress. They found that meditation increased the rate of activity in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that regulates emotions increased.
This study found that meditation programmes can be used to reduce the multiple negative effects of psychological stress. (12)
Another study that carried out for eight weeks on mindfulness meditation resulted in the control of stress response inflammation. (13)
One major meditation technique that can help you to manage stress is mindful deep breathing.
In deep breathing technique, you have to draw air from
Here are the steps to follow in deep breathing meditation technique
- Sit comfortably with your back straight. PLace one hand on your abdomen.
- Deeply breath through your nostrils. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your hand placed on the abdomen
- Exhale through your mouth. Keep attention at your hand placed on the abdomen
- Continue inhaling through your noses and exhaling through the mouth. To become more aware of your breath, count the number of seconds it takes to inhale and exhale each time.
These are the three most important benefits of meditation according to my research. Remember that you have to continue to meditate for a longer period to achieve control over your mind and body. I will urge to make meditation