Meditation comes with a multitude of mental and physical benefits, including relaxation and peacefulness, a decrease in negative feelings, and overall improved health. Anyone struggling with mental health, restless feelings, or even those with high blood pressure can find relief in meditation. In a world full of stimulation and distraction, taking the time to relax your mind is vital.
While there are a number of ways to meditate, they’re all based around finding inner peace, and this often involves deep breathing and self-awareness. You can meditate in several different ways and still experience similar benefits. However, certain meditation styles are more likely to help you with self-awareness, focus, or improved sleep, for example.
Mental Health Benefits
1. Stress management
The management of stress could theoretically be categorized under both mental and physical health benefits, as stress plays a big part in the physical state. Regularly engaging in meditation provides you with the time to either focus on what is causing your stress or temporarily relieve you from those thoughts. It’s also possible to decrease cortisol levels (the stress hormone) slightly with regular meditation.
2. Reduce anxiety and depression
Regular meditation can have a substantial impact on anxiety and depression. While it's unlikely that meditation will do away with anxiety and depression altogether, it can greatly help reduce the overall feelings and symptoms that accompany these mental struggles.
The reduction in stress hormones accompanied by dedicated time to focus and relaxation boost your emotional health. With meditation, it's also common to develop an increased sense of awareness, appreciation, and optimism.
3. Improve focus
By practicing focus meditation, you're essentially conditioning your mind the same way you condition your body when you're working out at a gym. By extending the amount of time you designate toward actively focusing on one thing, you're boosting your ability to focus for elongated periods of time.
Similar benefits can be found with mindfulness meditation—these may include an increase in attention span, better ability to remember details, and improved focus.
4. Enhance memory retention
Studies have shown that engaging in regular mindfulness meditation can help promote improved memory retention in aging populations. Benefits can also be found short term in more severe cases of memory loss.
Physical Health Benefits
1. Improved sleep
Practicing meditation on a consistent basis can help you fall asleep quicker, experience more restful sleep, and sleep longer. This is also a helpful practice for reducing daytime fatigue.
Meditation helps put you into a more relaxed state where you experience less tension, creating an ideal state for improved sleep both physically and mentally. With an increasing number of Americans struggling with insomnia, meditation is a great solution.
2. Stronger immune system
Because of the mental and physical side effects that accompany meditation, many people show improved immune function over time. Decreased stress and improved sleep alone can have positive effects on immune function.
3. Lower blood pressure
Because of the relaxed state that meditation provides, it's been said that meditation can, in fact, promote heart health and lower blood pressure by slowing your heart rate and improving blood circulation.
4. Pain Management
In the body awareness that accompanies meditation, taking the time to notice the pain points or chronic pain throughout your body allows you to manage this more effectively. Breathing into the areas that are experiencing pain is one approach to take.
Once again, mental health benefits resulting from meditation can help with physical health. For example, as neck pain frequently stems from stress, reduced stress due to meditation can help to lessen this pain over time.
Having this awareness can also help you report more accurately to your medical provider about what kind of physical pain you're experiencing.
Consult with Metro OBGYN
Whether or not you're struggling with your mental health, daily stress, lack of sleep, or otherwise, it never hurts to start developing new, healthy habits. This practice offers anyone in this hectic world a healthy respite from the chaos.
If you find that you or a loved one is battling a mental health disorder, we are here for you. Schedule an appointment with one of our providers today to discuss your options.