Spend any time on the internet these days, and you’re likely to see at least one person proclaiming the benefits of meditation. If you’ve ever wondered if meditation is science or just magic, you aren’t alone! Today we’re looking at the benefits of meditation to discover if there might really be something to the craze.
Benefits Of Meditation: What Is It?
Meditation is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness directs the brain’s focus to the present moment, without distractions. There’s no question this is a worthwhile practice. Too many of us spend our days going willy-nilly from one thing to another. We fight distractions all day long, day in and day out. Meditation helps us slow down. It also helps to breathe deep and de-stress. Do you include meditation in your morning routine?
Benefits Of Meditation: Science Or Magic?
Researchers don’t actually know for sure what meditation does for the brain. They also don’t know if it impacts your physical health. However, studies do tend to support the benefits of meditation overall. Those who practice meditation say that slowing down to meditate helps them relax. They also say that meditation helps them to manage their stress levels and reduce anxiety. Psychologists tend to support the idea that just sitting down to meditate and focus on breathing can positively impact stress and anxiety levels in the present moment.
Scientists, too, want to know if meditation is for real. Specifically, whether it impacts regions of the brain in ways that can be seen on imaging scans. They are just beginning to study what happens while people actively meditate. One study looked at soldiers suffering from PTSD and how meditation impacted their brains. They also wanted to see if it improves the symptoms of PTSD. Promising results show that meditation may actually help! Meditation seems to aid in a PTSD sufferer’s ability to control their attention and spontaneous thoughts. These improvements seem linked to an overall improvement in PTSD symptoms over time.
Benefits Of Meditation: Continued Study
More studies into the benefits of meditation are ongoing, but it’s not exactly an easy science. Meditation is hard to track, unlike the effects of giving someone a drug. The benefits can be personal and subjective. What researchers want to establish is a link between meditation and physiological changes within the brain. Meanwhile, those who practice meditation on a regular basis have no reason to stop.
Resource: The Washington Post