“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you” – Buddha.
I have been meditating since decades, and as everybody else, even my life is stressful and chaotic, and I realized I actually had no control over my external environment. But, the only place I did have control over, was my mind and that was possible because of meditation. When I started meditating, I realized it was making me feel happier, healthier, and more successful. According to ancient tradition, the Buddhist monks used to meditate to understand themselves and their connections to all living beings. In recent decades, researchers have been gaining insight into the scientific benefits of meditation. Let us discuss a few of those here:
- Decrease in stress levels – In everyday life, stress is a factor that each person has to deal with. There are many ways to handle stress, both positive and negative, and meditation is among the most positive ways to cope with stress. One study on the positive impact of meditation on stress involved a group of 3500 people. This research proved that meditation is immensely beneficial to people if the goal is stress reduction. The results showed participants had lower anxiety levels, reduced depression, and better mental functionality.
- Pain reduction – Millions of people suffer from chronic pain, and managing the same can be quite a tricky business. Living with pain is not only a physical strain but is emotionally stressful as well. Feelings of frustration, anger, depression, or even despair can deeply impact the quality of our lives. One of the most common pain management treatments includes drugs which can surely take away the physical discomfort. but the mental despair can successfully go away by following a regular meditation routine. A study involving chronically ill patients was conducted on those who experienced constant pain. The results showed that the patients who took part in regular meditation experienced lower pain levels.
- Reduced anxiety – I’ve experienced this personally that stress and anxiety go hand in hand. When you have high levels of stress, you also experience more anxiety. To show how meditation helps reduce anxiety, a study involving 18 volunteers was conducted. The participants took part in an 8-week meditation program, and the whole study lasted 3 years. Many of the 18 volunteers adhered to the lessons learned during the program and kept on meditating after the study. The result showed considerably lower levels of anxiety among the participants during the 3 year period.
- Better sleeping patterns – The world over, almost half of the population suffers from poor sleeping habits and insomnia. The struggle to getting a good nights sleep might be brought on by many different factors. Meditation has a positive effect on this issue faced by innumerable people. To prove this, a study was conducted involving two groups where one group engaged in regular meditation while the other group did not. At the end of the study, those who took part in the meditation process fell asleep faster than those who didn’t, and they slept for longer periods, too, which meant that they felt well-rested during the day. In addition to this, they learned to keep a check on the mental levels, which lead to insomnia.
- Lower levels of depression – Anxiety and stress are some of the leading causes of depression. Meditation has proven to be one of the best ways to reduce it. Regular meditation leads to better views on life and self-awareness. In one controlled study, a group of participants who were suffering from depression and low self- esteem took part in a guided meditation. After a few days, the group showed signs of better activity in the areas of the brain that control optimism and positivity.
I’ve shared a few scientific benefits of meditation with you which have surely worked for me and if practiced regularly, can bring positive and wonderful changes in your life too.