By: VTC's Wellness Team
5 Major Benefits of Meditation
Life can be stressful whether you are a stay at home mom, the CEO of a company, or a student in school. Meditation is a powerful practice that can provide endless benefits in hopes to gain back control and focus on your goals.
5 Benefits of Meditation
1. Reduce Your Sress
Stress is extremely common amongst most individuals. Mental and physical stress, cause increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol affects many aspects of your body including your weight, skin, and sleep.
In an 8-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress (1). Meditation can also reduce symptoms in people with stress-triggered medical conditions such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Tip: Pick a time of day and stick to it. This will make it easier to incorporate meditation into your daily life. It will also tell your mind and body "it's time to relax."
2. Builds Strength
Keeping those cortisol levels low is the goal! Exercising and strength training is a great way to build physical strength. However, strength cannot be built without proper energy and recovery. Keeping cortisol levels under control is essential for allowing the body to perform ideally—both during your workouts and in recovery.
Tip: Find a meditative buddy! Having someone to meditate with not only holds you accountable but it can also help you escape your own thoughts and stressors.
3. Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be a serious topic that affects many individuals. Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function. Studies have shown that blood pressure decreases not only during meditation but also over time in individuals who meditate regularly. This can reduce strain on the heart and arteries, helping prevent heart disease. (2) (3)
Tip: Incorporate movement with your meditation. Tying in meditation with things such as tai chi, yoga, or walking achieves many additional benefits.
4. Control Pain
Pain, especially chronic pain can make living a normal life difficult. Pain can also be elevated during extremely stressful times. Meditation has been shown to help. 38 studies concluded that mindfulness meditation could reduce pain, improve quality of life, and decrease symptoms of depression in people with chronic pain. (4) (5)
Tip: Consider dedicating a space in your home just for meditation. It doesn’t have to be big, but make sure it is removed from areas that may be connected to stressors.
5. Improve Sleep
Chances are you have struggled with sleep before. Nearly half of the population will endure the dreaded insomnia at some point in their life. Meditation may be the solution for you. One study compared mindfulness-based meditation programs and found that people who meditated stayed asleep longer and had an easier time falling asleep compared with those who did not meditate. (6)
Tip: When meditating focus on redirecting the racing or runaway thoughts relax your body, release tension, and place yourself in a peaceful state.
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Published: June 3, 2022