Here is why meditation is good for you – 8 fascinating facts
Over the last decade, the popularity of meditation has grown rapidly, but is it really that beneficial and why? Read on to find out something new about the science of this miraculous practice.
Basically, meditation is just the pause of thought, so it doesn't have to be a religious thing. Yes, meditation has deep roots in Buddhism and Hinduism and is a part of almost every world religion, but if one meditates to feel better it doesn't make them religious or affect their views in any way.
According to a research, one hour of focused meditation can reduce pain by nearly half. During this practice, you should concentrate on your breathing and let go of negative emotions and thoughts. If you do it right, even a 20-minute meditation will calm down the somatosensory cortex, which processes sensations, and boost the coping areas of your brain. About a 40% reduction in pain intensity was found among 15 volunteers who took part in the experiment.
To feel the positive effects of meditation, you don't need to push yourself too much and sit still for hours. Being consistent with meditations is way more important than meditating for long periods of time. Meditating for 2 hours several times a month won't be very helpful, but if you meditate for 10-20 minutes every day, you will notice differences sooner than a week after.
The results of multiple studies have proven that meditation can become a powerful tool to quit addictions. By the end of one of such experiments, almost 50% of the participants who had serious problems with alcohol reported total abstinence, while the other half made significant progress in their struggle. More than 70% of the participants continued meditating after taking part in the experiment.
Around 200 people took part in a large study of coronary heart disease. Some of them chose meditation as an additional class and continued practicing it on a regular basis. 5 years later, their risk of heart attack, stroke and death reduced by 48%.
2,500 years ago meditation became an essential part of Buddhism, but evidence shows that, in fact, it can be much older. Arts found on the territory of the Indian subcontinent from approximately 5,000 to 3,500 BCE show people sitting in meditative poses with their eyes closed.
When you meditate regularly, you calm down and learn to deal with stress. Stress reduction is important for slowing some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and dementia. According to a study, people with Alzheimer's who practiced meditation showed a slower progression after 2 months that those who didn't meditate.
After 2-5 years of consistent meditation, even the structure of a practitioner's brain can change. Decreases were found in parts of the brain involved with experiencing negative emotions, and the participants of the study reported better stress management, improved sleep, and a healthier lifestyle.
Have you ever practiced meditation? Do you believe it's good for our body and mind? Do you know any other interesting facts about meditation?
Tell us in the comments!
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