What are the benefits of meditation and mindfulness?

You’ve probably cottoned on to the fact that advertisers call on ‘science’ to help sell everything from stain remover and toothpaste through to the latest drugs, diets, and gadgets.

Many of those marketing meditation and mindfulness have adopted this same tactic; citing research, using imagery and diagrams of the brain before-and-after meditation, and rattling off the names of various neuroscientists and their discoveries.

Much of what you hear would best be considered to be an advertising spiel rather than anything ‘scientifically proven’, however, there are grains of truth to be found amongst all the hype. Below, I list half a dozen of the more reliable benefits you might expect from meditation.

If you’ve taken a peek below, you might be thinking that even that modest list is quite impressive. So what’s the catch? The catch is, you have to meditate — regularly. And usually, in order for that to happen, you have to want to meditate, and that means the approach you choose has to suit you.

If you practice a form of meditation that doesn’t suit you, you’ll probably just give up. Keep this in mind if you fail to get anything out of your meditation practice. You may need a skilled teacher in order to discover what keeps your practice from blossoming. Often there are tiny little attitudes that are getting in the way. These hidden habits — and any associated beliefs about yourself and about meditation in general — are usually the cause of difficulty or perceived failures around meditation.

Sleep Better

Get to sleep more quickly. Enjoy a good night’s rest. Stay relaxed when you wake up at 2am.

Reduce Stress

Stay calm at work, on the road, and even when the kids are driving you up the wall.

Think Clearly

Access a sense of calm, peace and balance, whenever you need to.

Regulate Heart Rate

Reduce your blood pressure and improve circulation.

Manage Pain

Relieve headaches, reduce muscular tension and learn to manage chronic pain.

Regulate Emotions

Reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, anger and confusion.

View a quick video summary of the benefits of meditation from the folks at Scientific American (adjacent), or from asapscience.com

What the doctor says

    Forty years of neuroscience research has shown that meditation ‘grows’ the brain in areas that relate to efficient study. It enhances the ability to focus and retain and retrieve information, reduces stress and anxiety and encourages metacognition.    

What is Mindfulness?

  Mindfulness helps to change the way you think and feel about your experiences, especially stressful experiences. It involves paying attention to your thoughts and feelings in order to become more aware of them, less enmeshed in them, and better able to manage them.  
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