If you have watched some of my video’s or follow me on Instagram you probably know that I am a big fan of meditation. I have listed some interesting scientific facts about meditation that hopefully wil convince you to start a meditation habit aswel.
Before we get into the scientific based benefits I quickly want to explain what meditation is. The way I often explain meditation is that you take some time to go inside your head and not focus on the outside world. Focus instead on your breathing or the present moment.
What meditation did for me
I started meditating after watching a TED talk from someone who explained the benefits on meditation. In this TED talk he showed a 6 minute morning meditation that I immediately implemented the next day and the days after aswel. I remember feeling the benefits right away after a few days and thinking: “Why did I not learn this before.”
I felt a lot sharper, a lot more focused, I was able to switch my thoughts towards more positive things more easily and felt more happy over all.
Now let’s talk science
Benefit 1: Reduces stress, anxiety and depression
This was shown in more than 40 trails with more than 3500 participants. A study done with over 1200 participants showed that meditation lowers stress more than almost every single medicine on the market.
Benefit 2: Enhanced memory and cognition
This was shown in a study published by the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. In this group there was a group of 60 old aged people who started beginner meditation. In just 3 months it showed improved memory function. Another study done in 2015 showed improved memory function aswel.
Benefit 3: Increased self-esteem
Another great benefit of meditation is the increase in self-esteem. This was shown in a 2005 study done with individuals diagnosed with breast cancer. The group practiced mindfulness meditation for 12 weeks, and basically everyone in that group experienced a higher self-esteem despite their chronic illness.
Benefit 4: Increased attention span
When practicing mindfulness meditation you are focusing on on thing for a longer period which is increasing your attention span. This was shown in a 2007 study where they looked at the concentration skills before and after an eight week course on mindfulness meditation. They saw an increase in speed and performance which was shown in other studies aswel.
Benefit 5: Inproppend immune system
Science shows that meditation can improve your immune system in multiple ways. Inflammation, immunity and cell-aging are all positively effected by meditation. Research shows an increase in immune cell count, decreased levels of pro-inflammatory proteins and an increase in enzymes that slows or reverse cell-aging.
Benefit 6: Improved sleep
If you are having trouble falling asleep, then meditation might be the cure for you. According to a 2015 study a short meditation can significantly improve the quality of your sleep. This is also the case for chronic insomnias. Meditation can help fall asleep faster and it can help you sleep longer without the nasty side effects of sleeping pills.
Benefit 7: Reduced pain
In a study published by the journal of neuroscience it shows that meditation can reduce physical pain even more then the placebo effects of medicine. This shows how powerful meditation actually is.
Hopefully these benefits will convince you to start meditation aswel. If you do decide to start with meditation I suggest you to start with mindfulness meditation. This is the type of meditation where you focus on one thing at the time.