Meditation, you probably know, comes with numerous health benefits. But the most fascinating and effective benefit of it is that it improves your quality of life. It has the power to take your health and well-being, and quality of life, from good to fabulous. It’s simple, quick and natural, and comes with practically no cons to it!
A mind-body connection related practice, it establishes a deep state of relaxation, peaceful and balanced mind and body. It allows you to destress, focus and let go of everything clouding your mind. This mental clarity is the first step to doing better and giving it your all in everything you do. 20-minutes of daily meditation can enhance your physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Furthermore, if you are already living with certain conditions, meditation is a practice that helps you manage the ailment effectively. Whether it is developing mental strength, calming the heart (and blood pressure), or relieving stress induced by chronic pain, meditation is your best friend. To the extent that even cancer patients found a sense of calm and peace with meditation.
The best part is, meditation doesn’t make a hole in your pocket. It can be done anywhere, even when you are traveling or waiting at the doctor’s clin
How meditation can improve your quality of life
Meditation has the power to help you let go of stress and quiet your mind. It balances your nervous system, activates the parasympathetic nervous system and reduces cortisol levels. You'll also begin to handle stressful situations in a much more effective way.
Improves sleep quality
When stress is at bay, your sleep quality will immediately improve. It even helps insomniacs overcome sleeplessness. When you sleep better, your system is well-rested and restored, making you ready for the next day.
Lowers your blood pressure
When you let go of stress and trapped tension, you are automatically lowering your blood pressure. When blood pressure is lowered, your circulatory and cardiovascular systems work better.
Decreases anxiety and depression
You build mental strength with time, learn to calm the mind and focus on the positives. Your mind lets go of anxiety-triggering thoughts and situations. Your hormonal system also gets balanced, releasing more happy-hormones than stress-inducing.
Manage chronic pain
For many suffering from chronic pain, meditation can help you take your mind away from it, build the strength to bear the pain and even help you find relief by relaxing the mind and body. It even helps overcome emotional pain which is sometimes harder to handle.
Meditation is known to literally ‘reshape’ your brain. Its impact on the nervous system is so profound that it can tap into higher centers in the brain, which ultimately lead to improved cognition.
Meditation helps release blockages in the heart (Anahata chakra) and even mind. It makes you calmer, happier and doesn’t let the little things affect you on a daily basis. It allows you to embrace love, kindness and compassion.
Improved balance in daily life
These factors - emotional balance, improved cognition, etc. - help you live a more balanced, stress-free and smooth day-to-day life. This ultimately improves your relationships, productivity at work, and better well-being.
Get rid of addiction
Meditation gives you the strength to get rid of addictions like smoking, drinking, drugs or even coffee! It gives you the strength, focus and willpower you need to stick to your resolve.
Knowing your true purpose
Meditation allows you to tap into your real, true potential. With practice, and over time, it allows you to strengthen your connection with your intuition and capabilities. This means that soon enough you’ll be living a life doing what you love, and giving it your best.
Meditation has a great impact on how mindfully you live. It helps you stay in the present and makes you aware of any of the times you mind is wandering into the past or future. This practice of being mindful is useful in many aspects such as what you are consuming (mindful eating), and your thoughts, words and actions with others and yourself. This benefits your own health and well-being, nurtures and strengthens relationships with yourself and loved ones and paves the way for a happier, more successful life.
What Science says about Meditation
Many studies have revealed the benefits of meditation for various conditions, ailments and diseases. They have also delved into the impact on stress-relief, anxiety, fighting addictions, etc. Here are a few:
- Research has shown that meditation may also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia.
- One study found that 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation helped reduce anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder, along with increasing positive self-statements and improving stress reactivity and coping.
- Another study consisting of 47 people with chronic pain found that completing an 8-week meditation program led to noticeable improvements in depression, anxiety, and pain over 1 year.
- According to Carnegie Mellon University, 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation for three consecutive days will help you see benefits.
- The mental discipline you can develop through meditation may help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviors. One study where 60 people received treatment for alcohol use disorder found that practicing transcendental meditation was associated with lower levels of stress, psychological distress, alcohol cravings, and alcohol use after 3 months.
- Meditation improved relationships and emotional balance in a study of 50 college students. It showed that practicing meditation 3 times per week improved positive emotions, interpersonal interactions, and understanding of others after 4 weeks.
Effective and transformative, meditation is that go-to powerful practice that can change your life. It takes time, consistency and determination, but science and practitioners for centuries have been telling us how impactful and beneficial it is, no matter what you might be dealing with or trying to overcome.
There are many types of meditations you can start with. You might like all of them or you might feel like sticking to one. The idea is to practice what works for you. If you’re a beginner and unsure how to get started, you can join a live class to practice with a teacher and a group of like-minded folks too.