Despite its increased use in clinical settings, some people still regard meditation with suspicion. They feel like it’s something that hippies and new agers do, and that it’s not for them, Science would disagree. There are have been numerous scientific studies on meditation and the results are clear: meditation can help you to lead a healthier, happier life.
Still not convinced? Check out these science-backed benefits of meditation:
Studies have shown that meditation can effectively help to relieve stress in individuals by lowering the levels of cortisol in their bodies. An 8-week study on mindfulness meditation clearly recorded a reduction in the inflammation response of participants who practiced the technique, which is why more therapists and clinicians are using it in practice today.
There is some evidence to suggest that meditation can also help people dealing with addictions, so if you are someone who has a dual diagnosis treatment plan in place it could be worth giving meditation a go on top of your current regime.
Research has shown that the practice can help addicts how to redirect their attention away from their addiction to more positive things, It can also help to control impulses and emotions and enable patients to develop a greater awareness of their situation and its causes.
If you’re feeling anxious, 20 minutes on the meditation mat could be the best prescription for you. Studies have shown that 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation practice is able to reduce the symptoms of anxiety in people living with generalized anxiety disorder. It may also be able to ease symptoms of anxiety in chronic pain sufferers and stop rumination in its tracks.
Increased attention span
Using a technique known as focused-attention meditation has been shown to help individuals increase the length and strength of their attention, which means it could be useful for people suffering from ADHD and similar diagnoses. In fact, if you meditate regularly, you can actually rewire your brain so that poor attention and a wandering mind are less likely to be a problem.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, meditation has also been shown to help improve sleep, even in individuals who suffer from insomnia. In one study, people who practiced mindfulness-based meditation stayed asleep longer and had improved levels of insomnia than those who did not. Ideally, if you want to get a better night’s sleep, you should meditate 20 minutes before hitting the sack, and you should do that every single night. You’ll be amazed at how effective meditation can be when you take it seriously.
Although meditation has been scientifically proven to help with a wide range of mental and physical issues, it is always a good idea to seek the advice of your doctor or therapist before you try any new meditation techniques, It is also important that you stay on any medication you have been prescribed unless you have the agreement of your healthcare professional.
That being said, meditation is a wonderful thing, so what are you waiting for? Time to hit the meditation mat.