WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well being. Mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body and behaviour.
There are many types of meditations, but most have 4 elements in common, a quiet locations with as few distractions as possible; a specific, comfortable posture (sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions); a focus of attention ( a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or the sensations of the breath); an open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them.
What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Meditation
Many studies have investigated meditation for different conditions, and there’s evidence that it may reduce blood pressure as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and flare-ups in people who have had ulcerative colitis. It may ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and may help people with insomnia.
Read more about meditation for these conditions:
- For High Blood Pressure
- For Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- For Ulcerative Colitis
- For Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia
- For Smoking Cessation
- Other Conditions
Meditation and the Brain
Some research suggests that meditation may physically change the brain and body and could potentially help to improve many health problems and promote healthy behaviors.
What the Science Says About Safety and Side Effects of Meditation
Meditation is generally considered to be safe for healthy people.
People with physical limitations may not be able to participate in certain meditative practices involving movement. People with physical health conditions should speak with their health care providers before starting a meditative practice, and make their meditation instructor aware of their condition.
There have been rare reports that meditation could cause or worsen symptoms in people with certain psychiatric problems like anxiety and depression. People with existing mental health conditions should speak with their health care providers before starting a meditative practice, and make their meditation instructor aware of their condition.
This is an interesting article by
Writer. Meditation Teacher. Coach.
There are over 3,000 scientific studies on the benefits of meditation, but I have not found any blog that compiles hundreds of researches into an organized article, so I decided to fill in the gap.
These studies were based on different types of meditation, and I have included details, whenever relevant. Some effects, such as increased compassion and social bonding, are more salient as a result of specific meditation techniques (such as loving-kindness, which is a Buddhist meditation). However, my understanding and personal practice is that any kind of authentic meditation will include most of these benefits, in one degree or another.
There is also evidence that the practice will be more beneficial for you if you find a technique that you like better.