Meditation & Its Many Benefits

Meditation has long been associated with mindfulness and the spiritual side of eastern religions. But the truth is that for a while now, it’s been growing in popularity throughout the world, gaining credibility not just as a way of relaxing or getting in touch with your spiritual side, but as a potential way to combat depression and stress, and even build up your brain.

The first historical data on meditation dates back over 3,000 years. But it wasn’t until 100 years ago that scientists started to study the health benefits of meditation on the mind and body.

Take the reduction of physical pain. The research of professor Dr. Fadel Zeidan published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that people who practice meditation endure physical pain better than those who do not. This is significant in that it can be a good option for patients who suffer from chronic pain whose only other recourse might be potent and potentially harmful drugs.

Another benefit of mindful meditation is stress reduction. As suggested by a number of sources, such as the JAMA article “Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being,” mindfulness programs can help mitigate symptoms of people suffering from chronic anxiety, stress, and depression.

Meditation may even make you smarter.

Today, at facilities like the Centre for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders and Complicated Grief Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital, psychologists and psychiatrists found that people who meditated had more gray matter density, known to be important for learning and memory. This added gray matter density was found specifically in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection. Participants also maintained more gray matter even as they aged.

By decreasing our stress levels, meditation helps us thrive in all aspects of life, both personal and professional. So it’s not too much of a leap to say that, applied in the business world, meditation therapies could have enormous benefits: fewer mistakes made thanks to reduced stress; an increase in productivity; a more a positive mindset for the present day; and a more clearly defined vision for the future, to name just a few.

So… relax!

This article was originally published in Eureka.


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