Meditation has become a more widely used practice in recent years because of its positive effects on overall health and mental wellness in particular. 1 2 Adding a regular meditation practice to your routine has a number of benefits to mental health and overall wellbeing.
There are many different types of meditation that can be practiced in different ways, but all meditation includes training oneself, through regular practice, to calm the mind and enter a state of relaxed observation and stillness. 3
“Mental Health Benefits of Meditation”
Insomnia is a very common problem among Americans, particularly those over the age of 55. 4 A lack of good, restful sleep can contribute to depression and other mood disorders as well as decrease overall quality of life. 5 Studies show that practicing mindfulness meditation on a regular basis can help to improve sleep by reducing cognitive processes that interfere with sleep, improving sleep cycle structure, and providing tools for learning how to relax and remain in the present moment. 6
More Ways to Promote Sleep
Although more research is required, initial studies have shown that adopting a meditation practice helps to decrease feelings of anxiety in those with clinical anxiety and related disorders. 7 Regular meditation and breath work has been shown to reduce the levels of catecholamine and cortisol, which are biologically related to anxiety symptoms and panic attacks. 8
Practicing meditation trains you to experience a healthy form of detachment that allows you to observe your own thoughts or a situation without immediately reacting in an emotional way. 9 This does not mean that meditation trains you to avoid or shut off your emotions, but it empowers you to allow your emotional reaction to take place without causing a high level of stress. 10
Enhanced Brain Function
Neuroimaging studies show that the regular practice of mindfulness meditation results in an increase of gray matter in the brain. 11 Increased gray matter boosts mental performance, including memory, cognitive ability, and motor skills. 12 Many people find that practicing meditation makes them feel more mentally clear, sharp, and focused. 13
Adding meditation practice into your regular routine can have a significant positive impact on your mental wellness and is very easy to do. For details on how to practice mindfulness in your daily life and 6 simple exercises you can try today, click here.
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