Meditation was once a ritual practiced only by monks; however, now every other person is inclined towards meditation to reach a heightened level of spiritual awareness. Part of the reason meditation is going mainstream is that people have realized the extensive benefits of expanding focus and gaining control.
While the number of people who practice meditation today is multiplying dramatically, many individuals still aren’t aware of its impacts on the human body and mind. Over time studies and research have revealed countless exciting facts about the science of meditation. Individuals who want to commit to meditative practices fully must first learn about them thoroughly.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is an act of remaining silent and engaging in contemplation by focusing the mind on a particular object or thought for a specific period. This mental exercise is often complemented by repeating a mantra or breathing with a pattern.
A significant number of people have started practicing meditation to deal with stress and anxiety. However, consistency is the key to targeting the areas of the brain that regulate the levels of tension in the human body. The mental practice of training focus and attention to calm the mind encompasses several different styles and techniques. Individuals can choose any meditation types that fit their specific goals:
Body Scan Meditation
Individuals do a mental scan of their bodies and observe how they feel about each part. Most people start focusing on the head and then work their way down to the feet. Others utilize the art of muscle testing to tap into the subconscious mind to become aware of their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
Breath Awareness Meditation
Individuals observe their breathing patterns in this type of meditation. They take note of how the air passes through their nostrils, into their lungs, and back outside their mouth. The idea is to notice how breathing impacts every part of the body and eventually calm the mind.
Loving Kindness Meditation
Individuals chant a mantra (usually a positive phrase or quote) to channel their inner feelings of love, contentment, and compassion. With this type of mental practice, people take deep breaths while chanting the string of words. The continuous recital helps a person open their mind and heart to receive positive messages of kindness.
Walking or Moving Meditation
Individuals try to connect their thoughts with physical movements in this type of meditation. The mind focuses on the human body’s activity, thinking about how each move is made or taken and what the movement makes a person feel. Typically, walking meditation is performed very close to nature, preferably in a garden or forest.
An individual must know the several different types of meditation available before they fully invest in practicing it and be well aware of the facts surrounding the art of mental practice. Here is a list of eight exciting facts individuals must know about meditation before fully committing to this form of life:
1. Meditation Improves Brain Function
According to The Harvard Gazette, meditation positively impacts neural pathways and increases cortical thickness in the brain, improving mental health and memory. People who practice mindful meditation witness visible differences in their learning and memorizing abilities.
2. Meditation Prevents Neurodegenerative Diseases
Several studies showcase that consistent meditation reduces a person’s chances of falling prey to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. The focusing aspect of meditation helps calm the brain, reducing stress and anxiety.
3. Meditation Is More Effective Than Sleep Or Medication
According to BW Education, 20 minutes of meditation delivers the benefits of 4 – 5 hours of deep sleep. Moreover, meditation works 25% better than the best painkillers in reducing pain from different human body parts.
4. Meditation Enhances Decision-Making Power
People who complete meditation exercises experience a significant increase in gyrification – folding of the brain’s cortex – that improves the brain’s performance. Increased time spent meditating helps individuals enhance their brain’s neural processing ability, directly relating to enhanced decision-making power.
5. Meditation Helps Overcome Addiction
Several scientific studies published in notable publications have shown that meditation plays a vital role in helping people overcome their addictions. In most rehab centers, meditation is a useful relapse prevention tool applied by doctors and nurses to help patients quit their addictions.
6. Meditation Hinders Aging
Research has suggested that mental exercise increases telomerase activity, a crucial aspect of anti-aging science. Meditation heightens the production of telomeres, which keeps a person from aging at the average speed.
7. Meditation Heightens Feelings Of Compassion
Consistent meditation limits the production of cytokines which prevents inflammation of the brain. As a result, feelings of love, compassion, and social connectedness heighten, making a person kinder towards other organisms living in the world.
8. Meditation Promotes Emotional Health
Meditation dramatically impacts an individual’s mental health, which directly affects how a person feels emotionally. Almost all forms of mental exercise help an individual build a more positive outlook on life, improving a person’s idea of self-image and self-esteem.
Being aware of a lifestyle choice is crucial before incorporating it into one’s life. After learning as much information about meditation as possible, individuals must begin practicing it the right way.
It’s not a good idea to jump right into it; taking meditation one day at a time to adjust to it fully is the optimal choice. People must also experiment with different types, frequencies, durations, and places of meditation to understand what works best for them. Once the temporary experimentation timeline is complete, individuals must move on to phase II – permanent mental exercise. The wholesome outcomes of this practice can surely blow a person’s mind.