The physical benefits of meditation that most of us know about are stress-relief and anxiety from daily living.
Different forms of meditation have been used for literally thousands of years to quickly, and sometimes instantly, relieve and remove stress and anxiety.
Because practicing meditation helps you to slow your breath, quiet your mind, and find peace, it can be beneficial physically, mentally, and emotionally. Meditation is now commonly used to treat mental health disorders, addiction, and everyday stress, as well as to heal physical ailments and promote better sleep.
The LiveandDare.com website has identified 76 scientifically-proven benefits of meditation. They include lowering instances of depression and reducing anxiety.
Those mental benefits may seem logically linked to a practice where you calm your mind. However, some physical benefits of meditation may surprise you, including the following 5 beneficial effects of meditation you just might not know about.
1 – Meditation Makes the Teen Years Livable
High school can be a very difficult time, not only for teenagers trying to get through it alive but for their parents as well. The teenage years can be difficult because the human body and mind are changing so rapidly. This can cause self-doubt, frustration, confusion and sometimes a sense that the whole world is “out to get” the teenager.
Research from the Harvard Medical School shows that relaxation practices like meditation and deep breathing improved students’ abilities to cope with hormonal mood swings, and the constant drama surrounding teen years.
2 – ‘Meditation’ Can Be Better Than ‘Medication’ for Chronic Pain
The Journal of Neuroscience reports on a study that shows you can save major money on prescription drug costs, while simultaneously relieving pain more effectively, with meditation. Pills often have bothersome and debilitating side-effects. This is not true with meditation, which proved more effective than pain medication for chronic pain relief in that study.
3 – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Relief
IBS can be frustrating, inconvenient, painful and embarrassing. The answer may just be to meditate on a regular basis. Research in one study shows an 8-week practice of mindfulness for stress-relief reduced IBS symptoms by an impressive 26.4%.
4 – Meditation Actually Boosts Your Immune System
Your immune system is the complex group of processes in your body that fights infection and disease. Stress and anxiety play havoc with your immune system, and this means you’re more likely to become sick or ill from any cause. Meditating regularly slows the production of stress hormones like cortisol which naturally damage your immune system.
5 – Improves Fertility Rates in Women
Researchers are still not sure why this happens. However, there is an undeniably correlated presence of notably higher fertility rates in women who meditate regularly, than in those who do not.
Although there is no universal scientific agreement on the physical benefits of meditation of relaxation and meditation, anyone who has used the simple and powerful techniques thinks the same thing. The benefits are real!
The real problem is that there is so much money to be made from anything that will make people feel better. We are so stressed in our high energy daily lives, that even taking a few moments to clear the head can have dramatic results.
The problem is that so-called spiritual leaders will turn as to their own end. For example, religious Christians will say that it is safe to enjoy the benefits of Christian meditation, but other forms could lead you straight into sin and damnation.
Meanwhile, proponents of transcendental meditation will claim that theirs is the best, and look with disapproval at anyone who does anything different than they do.
The important thing for you to remember is that the physical benefits of meditation do not depend on which type you use, but in how you do it.
In my experience, the best physical benefits of meditation are had from the most simple practices. If you are new to meditation and want to give it a try, try something simple at first. You do not need a teacher to reap the benefits of meditation.
A lot of people say that you do, but they are usually teachers or religious fanatics who will try to scare you with claims that if you are not properly trained, meditation can actually cause harm instead of good.
This is rubbish. No one was ever harmed by just simply concentrating on their breathing, and this is the core of almost any good meditation.
If you want to investigate the physical benefits of meditation for yourself, here is what you should do:
You should set aside 15 minutes every morning to just sit still and concentrate on your breath. That is it. There is no need to pray and invoke any particular deity, although feel free to if it makes you more comfortable.
I have tried many different forms and many different schools, and I can tell you that the full physical benefits of meditation can come simply from concentrating on the breath with the eyes closed.