You’ve definitely heard of yoga before but have you ever wondered where it comes from and how it can help you?
The earliest mention of meditation are found in ancient Hindu texts, and play a key role in the practice of Hinduism and Buddhism. The individual will employ the use of simple techniques to train their attention and their awareness with the intention of achieving mental and emotional clarity. These techniques are often things like focusing on an object or focusing on a specific thought and the popularisation of meditation in Western audiences in the 19th century has led to the universal understanding that meditation is… well, good for you.
But with health fads coming and going all the time, sometimes it's difficult to tell what is really good for you and what's just clickbait.
So we thought we would break down what some of the benefits of meditation actually are, using science and research.
This is one of the most common reasons people will say that they meditate. Instant messaging, same day delivery, delayed public transport, unpredictable weather. The world is moving quickly and it shows no signs of slowing down, so it's easy to feel like you’re being swept with the tides.
When you’re feeling stressed, the stress hormone in your body increases, causing disruption to your sleep, increasing your blood pressure and clouding your mind with feelings of panic and hopelessness.
An 8-week study on meditation found that inflammation caused in the body by stress was significantly reduced in subjects who meditated.
STABILISE EMOTIONAL HEALTH
The day-to-day aspects of life tend to not get any easier, but anyone can agree that being better in control of the turbulent emotions that come in response to daily stressors would improve their quality of life.
One study found that people who had completed a meditation exercise experienced fewer negative thoughts after viewing negative images in comparison to those who hadn’t.
While meditation is working to reduce your negative thoughts it can also work the opposite way, by increasing your positive thoughts. And honestly, who doesn’t want that?
One meditation technique called Metta, a practice also known as ‘loving-kindness meditation’, is practiced by getting the individual to generate kinder thoughts towards themselves.
This analysis on twenty-two studies involving the Metta technique really showcase Metta’s ability to increase peoples’ compassions towards themselves and others.
With as much media as we are consuming today, the fight for our attention is more valuable than ever. And if you’re like most people, having poor concentration skills means you’re wasting valuable time repeating tasks that you couldn’t concentrate on properly the first time. Or the second time. Or the third…
One study allowed one group of participants to listen to a meditation tape and not a second group. They then found that those who had listened to the tape had improved attention and accuracy while completing a task.