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The Many Benefits of Meditation

It can reduce stress, improve your health, and bring you more peace of mind. That's just a short list of the many benefits of meditation. A more detailed explanation of what meditating can do for you can be found just below. It is noted when the benefit claimed is based on scientific research and when it is (so far) just the experience of those who meditate regularly.

Less Stress - This, of course was noted by regular meditators for thousands of years. What the science shows is that there is an actual lowering of the stress hormone cortisol and also a lowering of lactate levels in the body. The amount of adrenaline released into your blood also goes down when you meditate. These effects are all indirect indicators of reduced stress, but there are more direct benefits from reducing these substances if the levels are too high in the body.

Slower Aging - Some research has shown that aging is slowed when people meditate regularly. It is not certain why meditation has this effect, but it's speculated that it's due to higher levels of DHEA in meditators. Since low levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) are associated with a higher risk for many diseases, including heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis, there are potential benefits to high DHEA levels beyond the anti-aging ones.

Reduced Irritability - Many people who have taken up meditation report that they are not as irritable, and the effect is not limited to the time spent meditating. The sense of calmness cultivated apparently carries over to some extent into daily life.

Better Sleep - Many meditators report that they sleep better when they are keeping up on their practice. Since meditating regularly can lower ones metabolic and heart rate, it is thought that these effects might contribute to more restful sleep. Both effects could also be part of the explanation for slower aging among meditators. A study at the University of Kentucky in Lexington showed that meditation reduced the need for sleep, probably due to the higher quality of sleep.

More Energy - It makes sense that if you sleep better you will have more energy, and many who meditate report exactly that effect. It also seems likely that the calming of the mind reduces the fatigue that can come from too much anxiety.

Better Memory - Some have noted improved memory when meditation regularly. This may be due to the reduction in cortisol in one's body. Research done at the University of Edinburgh found that even though cortisol is used in the formation of memories, high levels can cause memory loss.

More Brainpower - A study done at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte found a boost in cognitive abilities in participants after just four days of meditation training and practice.

Better Concentration - An Australian study found that monks who had years of experience meditating could focus and concentrate much better than the average person.

Control of Emotions - Research done at UCLA found that naming emotional states during mindfulness meditations reduced the strength of the emotions.

Higher Blood Oxygen Levels - Meditators have been found to have higher levels of blood oxygen, which is thought to be good for the health of the body and especially the brain.

Pain Relief - Several studies have found that 20 minutes of meditation daily can relieve back pain and headaches.

Other Health Benefits From Meditation - Other effects noted in various studies include lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and a lessening of symptoms in those suffering from depression.

To get the benefits of meditation in the easiest way, try these Brainwave Entrainment CDs.

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