What is Meditation?
According to NCCIH, there is no one single type of meditation. However, meditation usually have four main components:
- A quiet location with as few distractions as possible
- A specific, comfortable posture such as sitting, lying down, walking or even yoga.
- Focus! This can mean focusing on a specific word or phrase, an object, or the sensations of the breath.
- Positive attitude. Meditation is judgement free, there is no need to stress if your mind wonders. Whenever it does wonder, the key is to recognize you have wondered and refocus.
In summary, meditation is a mind and body practice that has been a way to encourage physical relaxation, calmness, psychological balance, and wellbeing for centuries. However, more and more people are catching on to the benefits of mediation. Data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) during 2012 and 2017 the humber of adults mediating increased from 4.1% to 14.2 percent%. In addition, a National Health Interview Survey found that the number of American workers who meditate has steadily been increasing over the years.
The Benefits of Meditation
As outlined by Positive Psychology, here are the health-backed health benefits of meditation!
- Improved memory and cognitive thinking
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Promotions emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing
- Increases ability to focus and pay attention
- Improves mood and increases feeling of compassion and empathy
- Can reduce pain, inflammation and risk of disease
Why Meditation Works
According to John Hopkins and Harvard, meditation works because it trains the brain and essentially changes the way it functions. While meditation may seem like doing nothing, it is actually a workout for your brain. The more you practice, the more you come aware and more positive. After just eight weeks of meditation, researcher Sara Lazar and her team saw an increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs learning and memory, and in certain areas of the brain that play roles in emotion regulation and self-referential processing. In addition, given that mindfulness helps improve self-control and ways of thinking, studies cited by Forbes have shown that meditation can be very effective in helping people recover from various types of addiction.
Overall, there is plenty of supporting research to show that mediation has numerous health benefits. To learn more about mediation and how it improves brain function, click here!