Mindfulness Meditation is said to be the practice of actually being involved in the moment, which in turn trains us to become more mindful throughout the day, especially during difficult situations. Why do we need Daily Mindfulness Meditation? Why should we make it our daily routine? There are numerous reasons to do so. In this list, we’ll talk about 11 key reasons for Daily Meditation.
1. Better Focus and Concentration
Mindfulness Meditation helps you focus on the here and now which can improve your concentration in your day-to-day life and tasks. The Harvard Medical School conducted a study in 2011 where they took a look at the effects of mindfulness meditation on the brain and found a link between mindfulness and processing new information. The researchers studied the brain of 17 individuals before and after taking part in an eight-week meditation program. Brain scans showed an increase in gray matter in the parts of the brain responsible for learning memory and emotional regulation.
In addition, a 2016 study from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University showed how mindfulness meditation can better concentration and the ability to make decisions. The study involved 25 unemployed adults searching for work, one group participated in a relaxation program that lasted three days without mindfulness meditation components while the other group took part in three days of mindfulness meditation brain scans before and after revealed an increase in connectivity among parts of the brain that control attention for the meditation group.
Richard Davidson a Ph.D. professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin and founder of the Center for Healthy minds said that research shows we can actually train our attention and our meta-awareness and that this is a learnable skill.
2. Improve Self-esteem and Awareness
The great thing about Mindfulness Meditation is that it encourages you to slow down, allows for deeper self-reflection and help you discover positive traits about yourself. “Mindfulness helps elevate self-awareness by increasing the ability to examine one’s thoughts and feelings without judgment which ends up improving self-esteem” says Brian Wind Ph.D Chief Clinical Officer at Journeypure.
Mindfulness Meditation can especially help those with social anxiety according to researchers at Stanford University in a 2009 study published in the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. 14 participants with social anxiety disorder participated in two months of meditation training and reported decreased anxiety and improved self-esteem at the end of the program. In another study, 153 adults who used a mindfulness meditation app for a fortnight, experienced reduced feelings of loneliness and increased social contact compared with those in a control group. Other forms of meditation teach you to recognize thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating. The idea is that as you gain more awareness of your thought habits, you can steer them toward more constructive patterns.
A center review of 27 studies show that practicing tai-chi may be linked to improved self-efficiency which is the term used to describe a person’s belief in their own capacity or ability to overcome obstacles. Moreover, experience in meditation may cultivate more creative problem-solving skills.
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3. Reduces Stress
Mindfulness Meditation can also lower the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which helps you feel more relaxed. In a 2013 review, researchers examined over 200 studies of mindfulness meditation among healthy people and found meditation to be an effective way to reduce stress. Repeating a mantra such as a word or phrase during meditation can also have a calming effect and by concentrating on your mantra you’re able to shift your focus away from distracting thoughts.
David Foley, founder of Unify Cosmos, a meditation center in Oklahoma, says that Transcendental Meditation has a similar effect in which you silently repeat a word or sound to keep yourself focused and the end result is that you’re able to reach a state of stability and complete stillness. A 2019 study, for example, demonstrated a reduction in psychological distress among teachers and support staff who participated in a transcendental meditation program. Researchers used stress scales before and after the program to measure the participants levels of burnout stress and depression. After receiving a seven step transcendental meditation course participants practiced meditation two times daily for about 15 to 20 minutes over a period of four months and reported lower levels of stress and burnout than before.
4. Manage Anxiety or Depression
Mindfulness Meditation helps train your mind to concentrate on the present making the likelihood of ruminating on anxious thoughts that can fuel depression lesson. A 2014 research analysis published in Jama International Medicine found that Mindfulness Meditation can indeed help ease anxiety and depression and could be part of a thorough mental health treatment plan. Research also supports the benefits of mindfulness-based stress reduction MBSR which is the therapy program that incorporates mindfulness meditation. Studies suggest that MBSR can help with anxiety calm their minds and lessen symptoms of depression including sleeping troubles, feeling low and loss of appetite.
5. Fight Addiction
Meditation can indeed change the brain receptors associated with drugs and alcohol addiction which may reduce cravings for these substances. Additionally, Mindfulness Meditation can increase your awareness of cravings and allow you to manage them better and this awareness is really powerful because it can allow you to ride the urge or the craving without getting overcome by it you can notice the urge that it’s there but you don’t have to give into it. A study published in substance abuse and rehabilitation found that mindfulness training can help prevent future relapses for people with substance abuse disorder as it produces a therapeutic effect that helps control how the brain experiences pleasure.
6. Control Pain
Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind and it can be elevated in stressful conditions. Many Doctors recommend Mindful Meditation practices as a part of a comprehensive pain management plan. A 2020 study of more than 6400 participants across 60 trials found that meditation could reduce pain in those who are in agony from surgical chronic or acute pain. One review of 38 studies concluded that Mindfulness Meditation could reduce pain, improve quality of life and decrease symptoms of depression in people with chronic pain. A large meta-analysis of studies enrolling close to 3500 participants concluded that meditation was associated with decreased pain those who meditated and those who didn’t experience the same causes of pain but meditators demonstrated a greater ability to cope with pain and even experienced a reduced sensation of pain.
It’s not going to be a cure-all for everything and it won’t necessarily make the pain go away. We can recognize that the pain is there but we don’t get ensnared by it in the same way and that can be enormously beneficial in helping cope with chronic pain
7. Make You More Kind or Loving
Meditation also known as meta that can help foster compassion for yourself and others as well. It strengthens circuits in the brain that pick up on people’s emotions, encourages altruistic behavior and decreases the implicit or unconscious bias responsible for conserving harmful stereotypes to begin a loving kindness meditation you might think of a loved one and wish them happiness from there. You can extend that love to yourself and other people in your life you can use a phrase like may you enjoy happiness as you envision that person in your mind.
People learn to extend this kindness and forgiveness to first their friends then acquaintances and ultimately enemies through practice. A meta-analysis of 22 studies on this form of meditation demonstrated its ability to increase people’s compassion towards themselves and others.
Another study involving 50 college students showed that practicing meta-meditation three times a week improved positive emotions, interpersonal interactions and understanding of others after a month.
8. Age-Related Memory Loss
It may reduce age-related memory loss. Clarity of thinking and improvements in attention may help you keep your mind young. Kirtan Kriya is a method of meditation that combines a chant or mantra with repetitive motion of the fingers to focus your thoughts. Studies in people with age-related memory loss have shown that it improves performance on neuropsychological tests. Furthermore, a review found initial evidence that several styles can improve memory attention span and mental quickness in older volunteers besides fighting normal age-related memory loss. This form of meditation can improve memory partially in patients with dementia likewise it can help regulate stress and improve coping in those caring for family members with dementia
9. Improve Sleep
Close to 50% of the population will struggle with insomnia at some point in life. One study compared mindfulness-based meditation programs and discovered that people who meditated remained asleep longer and had improved insomnia severity compared to those who had an unmeditated control condition. Developing skills in meditation may help you control or channel the racing or runaway thoughts that often lead to insomnia in addition to that it can help calm your body releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you’re more likely to fall asleep.
10. Lower Blood Pressure
Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart over time. High blood pressure makes the heart work a little harder to pump blood which can lead to the poor functioning of the heart. High blood pressure also contributes to atherosclerosis which is caused by the narrowing of the arteries which may lead to heart attack or stroke. An analysis of 12 studies including almost 1 000 volunteers found that meditation helps reduce blood pressure. This was more effective among the older participants and those who had higher blood pressure before the study. One review in particular concluded that multiple types of meditation produced similar improvements in blood pressure in part meditation seems to regulate blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function.
11. Developing Kids Minds
Short Meditation breaks can help kids in school for developing minds. Meditation has as much or perhaps even more promise than it has for adults. There’s been increasing interest from educators and researchers in bringing meditation and yoga to school kids who are going through the usual stresses inside school and most times additional stress and trauma outside school.
Some schools have begun putting in place meditation into their daily schedules and with good effect. A district in San Francisco started a meditation program that takes place twice in a day in some of its high-risk schools and reported a decrease in the number of suspensions and an increase in GPAs and attendance. Research has indeed confirmed the cognitive and emotional benefits of meditation for school children but more work will probably need to be done before it gains more widespread acceptance.
In conclusion, meditation is something that anyone can do to improve mental and emotional health. You can literally do it anywhere without special equipment or memberships. Alternatively Meditation causes and support groups are widely available. There’s a great variety of styles too, each with different strengths and benefits. Trying out a style of meditation suited to your goals is a great way to improve your quality of life even if you only have a few minutes to do it each day. Give Meditation a try and watch it transform your life.