There are a series of scientific researches by renowned researchers to ascertain the benefits of meditation. Recent research shows an increase in the practice of meditation across people of different gender, age, and race.
Meanwhile, meditation entails both relaxation and concentration that train the mind to focus on one thing. This brings about balance, inner awareness, serenity, increased peace, and patience. Moreover, you become more thoughtful and less reactive to the world around you during meditation.
Here Are Some Scientific Evidence
The outcome from a series of researches from different psychologists and researchers lead us to the following:
1. Meditation Improves Mental Health
Meditation does improve mental health. In the beginning, early research works suggested the dramatic impact of meditation on mental health. However, after more investigations, there are some slight changes to earlier claims.
For instance, research conducted and published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed a moderate reduction in depression and anxiety. In the research, 3,515 participants have involved. There were 47 random controlled experiments on mindfulness meditation.
Generally, there was an improvement in mental health. However, the result of the experiment also showed no effect on feelings and positive mood. It was concluded that meditation should not be a replacement for other kinds of mental condition, but an aid to its treatment.
2. Meditation Sharpens Attention
It has been proven that meditation sharpens attention as the practice emphasizes this skill. A recent study shows that meditation helps to deal with habituation. Moreover, other research shows that it can improve our problem-solving skills and reduce mind-wandering.
Interestingly, the more exciting part is the fact that meditation improves attention for as long as five years after intensive mindfulness training. Can this benefit help people with attention disorder or could it be better than drugs like Adderall? This is what we cannot say now.
Though there are some positive small-scale studies with adults, we still need to carry out a large-scale randomized controlled trial to know how it might add with other treatments to assist both children and adults in managing attention-deficits.
3. Meditation Has Positive Impact On Relationship
Many studies have proven that mediation has a positive impact on a relationship. For instance, in 2016 research, the mindfulness of 88 couples was measured. They collected cortisol levels for each of the couples before and after they discussed conflicts in their relationship.
Interestingly, the cortisol levels of the couples spiked during the discussion session. This showed an indication of high stress. However, cortisol levels in the most mindful men and women were quicker to return to the normal state after the session. It suggested that they were calm and cool despite of the conflict that is being encountered.
The studies also show that meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in children with disabilities and parents of preschools. There is a better relationship with your kids and positive behavior in them as a result of meditation.
Meditation activates the part of the brain that involves emotion and empathy regulation – the inferior frontal gyrus and the left anterior insula. This leads to an improved parent-child relationship.
4. Meditation Reduces Psychological Bias
There are a series of studies that show that meditation can greatly reduce psychological bias. For instance, a researcher, in his study, found that a loving-kindness mindfulness training decreases prejudice towards less privileged and homeless people.
In another study, it was discovered that a short mindfulness training reduces unconscious bias against elderly and black people.
Adam Lueke and his colleagues carried out a study on white participants. All the participants received a short mindfulness training. It was discovered that the participants demonstrated less biased behavior toward the black colleagues in trust games.
Meditation does not only reduce social bias, it also reduces sunk-cost bias (a tendency to remain invested in a losing plan). Moreover, it reduces our likeliness to focus on the negative and bad things in life. Mindfulness reduces the negativity bias and reinforces the positive things of life.
5. Meditation Reduces Pain
Although there are mixed results about the ability of meditation to reduce pain, some studies suggest that there are areas in the brain meditation activates in response to pain.
A study sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) in 2016 discovered that mindfulness meditation facilitates pain control. It does not use the naturally occurring opiates of the brain to reduce pain.
Researchers conclude that the combination of mindfulness with other approaches that depend on the opioid activity of the brain can greatly reduce pain.
Moreover, another study was carried out on adults from 20 to 70 years of age who suffered lingering low-back pain. Some received cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), or usual care.
Those that received CBT and MBSR had the same level of improvement. The level of improvement was greater than those that had usual care. There was greater improvement in functional limitation as well as back pain at 26 and 52 weeks than those who had the usual care. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the outcome between CBT and MBSR.
There is concrete scientific evidence for the benefits of meditation. More people are practicing it every day due to its enormous benefits. Don’t be left out. Practice today for your well-being.
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