For longtime meditation teacher and practitioner Sonia Choquette, meditation is like pressing a pause button and giving yourself room to breathe.
And what happens when you give yourself room to breathe? Let’s find out below!
5 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
You’ve probably wondered if meditation is one of those hippie-dippy or New Age practices that “spiritual” folks do. The truth is that there’s plenty of substantial scientific evidence suggesting that meditating regularly improves your health and your life.
1. Meditation helps you regain focus and get more things done.
Forget Pomodoro timers and other productivity hacks. Research suggests that four days of 20-minute sessions (consistency is key!) of mindfulness meditation can enhance the ability to sustain your attention.
Plus, another study revealed that meditation might be beneficial to people with ADHD. Specifically, the researchers observed that people with ADHD who meditated showed improvements in anxiety and depressive symptoms.
2. Meditation helps reduce chronic inflammation.
It turns out that meditation doesn’t only help quiet your mind but also helps lower inflammation. As your body’s first line of defense to fight infection and injury, inflammation is actually beneficial. However, chronic inflammation can increase a person’s risk of health problems in the long run including cancer, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.
According to several studies, meditation and similar mind-body training techniques can reduce chronic inflammation by signaling the brain to lower inflammatory cytokines, particularly interleukin-6. This biomarker is often used to indicate unhealthy levels of inflammation in the body.
3. Meditation helps you get more quality sleep.
If you’re one of those people who can’t seem to find the sweet spot of a good night’s sleep, mindfulness meditation may be the missing piece you’re looking for. The findings of a 2015 study revealed older adults who practiced mindfulness meditation techniques for six weeks (2 hours per week) reported significant improvements in their sleep quality.
4. Meditation may help you gain more muscle mass.
Building muscle mass is not only aesthetically pleasing but can also have long-lasting health benefits such as reduced risk of injury, increased insulin sensitivity, and better metabolism. So how does meditation help you gain more muscle mass?
As mentioned earlier, meditation helps improve the quality of sleep. If you’re trying to gain more muscle at the gym or through bodyweight training, you want your body to produce naturally-occurring anabolic hormones to assist with muscle growth, specifically the Growth Hormone (GH). As it turns out, the release of this hormone is closely linked with sleep.
5. Meditation helps you stress less.
Chronic stress is linked to a boatload of health issues – from depression to headaches to hypertension. The good news is that one study suggests that 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation for three days may make you feel less stressful. Another study revealed that meditation significantly reduced anxiety levels.
Still Skeptical About Meditation?
Meditation isn’t just a trend. It’s been around for ages, and it’s a century-old practice for most cultures. If you’re still a skeptic, just give it 15 minutes a day. What do you have to lose? If you’d like to explore meditation and similar mind-body training techniques in Maryland, drop us a note or question.