5 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation

5 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation

Think you’re too busy to meditate?  Then you’re too busy NOT to meditate!  Many people say that the biggest hurdle to meditating is carving out the time each day to effectively sit in stillness… and do nothing. Once they prioritize taking care of their brain through meditation, they wonder how they ever managed without it.  Do you value productivity and want to get the most out of your 24-hour day? Read on to learn about a few of the many science-based benefits of mediation and how to get started.

 

Five Benefits of Meditation

Stress Reduction – Meditation may reduce physical inflammation in the body related to stress hormones. It may also help improve the symptoms of stress related conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, or even irritable bowel syndrome.1  The result is a calm, relaxed state, helping you feel better equipped to handle whatever may come your way.

 

Improved SleepQuality sleep is typically a huge factor in helping us function optimally during the day. Studies have shown that meditators fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer compared to non-meditators.2

 

Improved Focus – Have you ever noticed a constant background chatter going in on your mind? Practicing meditation may help you tune out distractions, resulting in improved brain function, better concentration, and increased efficiency.3 

 

Enhanced CreativityMeditation may help your brain reach a state of generating solutions to problems, and may temper emotional thoughts and reactions that often get in the way of creativity. This way, you can allocate more of your brain power to accessing a creative flow state.4

 

Increased Productivity – Do you want to have laser focus and be highly productive? You may have a better chance if you get good sleep, have low stress, and meditate.  Meditation increases capacity to resist distractions and urges, thus decreasing procrastination and allowing for better decision making.5

 

Three Tips to Get on the Meditation Train

Pick the same time each day – If you don’t set aside time daily, chances are that everything else will seem more important and before you know it you’ve fallen asleep on the couch without your daily meditation. Consider choosing a time that works for you and stick with it. If you have weekly meditation offered at your workplace, that’s also a great way to stay on schedule.

Start small – Even taking just 5 minutes for yourself in the morning to calm and center your mind before jumping into your day can make a big difference.  Sitting in stillness once a day for 5 minutes is better than jumping into 30 minute sessions sporadically, so pick something that feels manageable and increase the time as you go.  Great things are built one brick at a time!

There’s an app for that – Apps like “Headspace” or “Calm” offer short, guided meditations to take the guesswork out of meditating for beginners and give you something to focus on. 

 

What’s Your Secret?

Let us know how you achieve zen by meditating everyday in the comments below!

 

Authors Note

Michelle Gillespie is a Senior Natural Product Researcher at SPINS and is also a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner and Holistic Health Coach who specializes in helping busy individuals learn how to eat in harmony with their metabolism to increase energy, improve focus, and normalize weight without crash dieting or calorie counting. Michelle helps people learn how to listen to their body and her mindful approach to wellness helps guide her clients to thrive as the best versions of themselves. Check out Michelle’s work at www.michellegillespienutrition.com

References

  1. ScienceDirect. “A comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and an active control in modulation of neurogenic inflammation.” (January 2013,Volume 27,  Pages 174-184) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159112004758
  2. PubMed.gov. “The value of mindfulness meditation in the treatment of insomnia.” (November 21, 2015) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26390335
  3. Psychology Today. “Brain Scans Show How Meditation Improves Mental Focus.” (April 20, 2012) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/you-illuminated/201204/brain-scans-show-how-meditation-improves-mental-focus
  4. SpringerLink. “Prior Meditation Practice Modulates Performance and Strategy Use in Convergent- and Divergent-Thinking Problems.” (Volume 8, Issue 1pp 10–16) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12671-014-0352-9
  5. Tech.co. “5 Ways Meditation Improves Productivity and Leads to Success.” (July 21, 2015) https://tech.co/10-ways-meditation-improves-productivity-2015-07
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