Benefits of Meditation: 42 (Life-Changing) Reasons to Start Today

Benefit 1: Maintains General Wellness

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When asked in a survey why they practice, regular meditators stated that general wellbeing was their first priority.

Research backs up their reason for meditating, as a significant study published in the Journal of Religion and Health showed that regular meditation caused a marked improvement in the subjects’ overall feeling of wellbeing.


Benefit 2: Makes You Feel Happier!


Meditation has been shown time and time again to make you feel happier!

A study of 365 test subjects in Spain, sought to prove the link between happiness and mediation by rating responses on the Pemberton Happiness Index (PHI).

They saw that regular meditation caused individuals to become more observant and aware of their own emotions, as well as showing more compassion for others.

The Dalai Lama explains in his book The Art of Happiness that we can all reclaim our innate state of happiness by simply taking the time to observe and:

Increasing our awareness and understanding of what truly leads to happiness and what doesn’t.

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Benefit 3: Improves Your Memory


Meditation is so incredible that it has actually been shown to alter your brain to improve your memory.

This change is known as neuroplasticity, which essentially refers to the way your brain can change structurally and functionally over your lifetime.

The best example of this is Tibetan Buddhist monks who dedicate their lives to meditation, and reap the spiritual benefits. Longitudinal studies have shown how this regular practice has changed their brains over time.

However don’t worry, you don’t need to show quite the same dedication! Researchers in Korea took 46 experienced meditators who had been practicing for around 2 to 5 years and 46 beginners with no experience.

Despite only practicing for 2 to 5 years, the brains of the experienced meditators did show distinct differences compared to the beginners, particularly in the areas responsible for memory and concentration.

Benefit 4: Reduces Anxiety


Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in the US, yet one that can be helped by regular meditation.

Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, explains that mindfulness meditation is ideal for treating anxiety:

If you have unproductive worries, you can train yourself to experience those thoughts completely differently. Mindfulness teaches you to recognize, ‘Oh, there’s that thought again. I’ve been here before. But it’s just that—a thought, and not a part of my core self’

Researchers from John Hopkins University were interested in the impact meditation could have on the condition.

They looked at 19,000 meditation studies and highlighted 47 different projects that looked at the impact on anxiety.

It was found that overwhelmingly regular meditation did have the power to ease symptoms of the condition.

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Benefit 5: Makes You Feel More Grateful


Gratitude meditation is a powerful practice that Buddhist monks have used to start their day for centuries.

Though an ancient practice, new research shows links between gratitude meditation and improvement in your overall mental wellbeing.

Additional benefits include mood regulation and the ability to self-motivate

Benefit 6: Encourages Forgiveness


Teachers were the focus of a 2012 research project that looked at how mindfulness training could help with a teacher’s professional development.

Though findings are still limited, the project showed that mindfulness training could help teachers handle the emotional aspect of their job, including practicing forgiveness, more effectively.

There are a number of forgiveness focussed meditations that you can follow, such as this one by Jason Stephenson:

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Benefit 7: Reduces Stress


With people living increasingly stressful lives, meditation has been shown to be a powerful tool.

A systematic review in to the impact of meditation on stress concluded that those who meditate regularly can manage stress more effectively.

Even those new to meditation can instantly see results. A study on 32 young male adults in India found that if meditation was practiced before an impending stressful event, feelings of stress and anxiety were reduced.

Benefit 8: Helps with Depression


One of the greatest mental health benefits of meditation is its positive impact on depression.

In fact, a large scale review which looked at mindfulness based practices, including meditation, concluded that it had a positive impact on a number of conditions, however mostly notably on depression.

An article published by the American Psychological Association demonstrated evidence that meditation, when combined with other mindfulness based practices, could be as effective as medication in treating the condition.

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Benefit 9: Improves Sleep


Nearly 9 million Americans now take drugs to help them sleep, however meditation can be a worthy alternative.

Long-needed research in 2015 looked at the sleep issues of older adults. It found that meditation intervention had helped to improve sleep problems in the short term and improve their general overall quality of life.

In fact, Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation, explains that meditation can offer rest 2-5x deeper than sleep!

Readers of the book reported their joy at suddenly being able to get better quality sleep than they ever had before.

Benefit 10: Improves Concentration


Meditation also has many benefits for students, with the most notable one being an improvement in concentration.

Research conducted in 2015 demonstrated how just one semester of meditation training could impact the concentration and academic focus of students.

The outcome of the study recommended to universities that they should include meditation as part of the curriculum to improve overall academic performance.

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Benefit 11: Increased Focus


One of the latest pieces of research aiming to improve the world’s ever-shortening attention span was conducted in 2018.

Findings suggested that long term meditation was required to significantly impact a person’s focus and concentration.

However even following just a ten minute meditation session improvements were seen in the attention abilities of those who had never practiced meditation before.

Benefit 12: Raises Self-esteem


One fantastic benefit of meditation is that it’s shown to raise self-esteem.

Researchers at Stanford looked at the link between social anxiety disorder and regular mindfulness meditation training. Following just nine sessions individuals showed an improved self-view.

Benefit 13: Encourages Kindness and Compassion


Meditation can actually make you a kinder person!

Clever neuroimaging studies have highlighted how mindfulness practices activate the part of your brain that controls empathy. This is thought to improve your social interactio

Benefit 14: Can Reduce Anger


Researchers at the University of Kansas have proven how the anger of experienced and novice meditators can be controlled with meditation.

Subjects were placed in anger-inducing scenarios, however after just one session of meditation they reacted less angrily than they had done before.

Their breathing was slower and their blood pressure decreased. Interestingly, though the study involved both beginner and seasoned meditators the results were no different, just one session of meditation had the same positive impact.

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Benefit 15: Helps with Decision Making


If you’re one of those people that really struggles to make decisions then meditation might be able to help.

Published studies show us that regular meditation helps to focus the mind, encouraging us to trust our intuition and develop positive decision-making behaviors.

Benefit 16: Encourages Mindfulness


Meditation is a mindfulness practice so it’s no surprise that it encourages mindful behavior.

Mindfulness invites you to slow down and simply live in that moment, becoming more conscious and aware of your surroundings and your own emotions.

Benefit 17: Fosters Creativity


If you’re looking to reignite your creativity then you might want to try meditation.

Even if you’ve never meditated before, a 2014 study revealed that doing so has a lasting impact on human cognition. Essentially helping your brain to develop new ideas!

Benefit 18: Improves Your Sex Life


Meditating has many benefits for improving your sex life.

Research in 2011 looked at female sexual dysfunction as a mental issue rather than a physical one.

They used mindfulness-based treatment options to address the feelings of self-judgement the women were experiencing.

After the 12 week course, subjects reported better sexual functioning as well as an improved self-view.

Meditation also formed part of a wider study looking at how yogic practices compared to a leading drug for the treatment of premature ejaculation.

It was shown to have a significant impact on the men in the group, with all those following the practice reporting improved performance.

There are a number of guidances you can follow to help:

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