The word meditation is as old as mankind, and it is increasing in popularity as more people get to know of its benefits.
You’re meditating each time you allow your mind to focus while redirecting your thoughts. It is a habitual process.
With meditation, you can boost your awareness of yourself and of your surroundings. Many people find meditation a useful way of developing concentration and reducing stress.
Many people also use meditation to develop beneficial feelings and habits, such as a positive mood and outlook, good sleep patterns, self-discipline, and increased tolerance to pain.
In today's article, we will examine the benefits of meditation for busy adults in their 30s...
Here we go…
Meditation Helps with Stress Reduction
This is one of the major reasons why people meditate.
Particular research involving 3500 adults showed that indeed, meditation was a great stress reducer.
Anytime you are stressed, whether physically or mentally, the level of cortisol in your blood shoots up. Cortisol is a stress hormone. An increase in the level of cortisol triggers the many harmful effects of stress, such as the production of inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines.
These negative effects disrupt your sleep, cause depression and anxiety, trigger high blood pressure, and makes you not to think clearly.
A 2-month study showed that mindfulness meditation was effective at reducing the inflammatory response caused by stress.
Another study involving over 1300 adults showed that meditation can decrease stress. It is interesting to note that this effect was strongest in those who had the highest levels of stress.
You will also be happy to learn that meditation can improve the symptoms of conditions related to stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
It Keeps a Tab on Anxiety
If you are less stressed, you will be less anxious.
For instance, a 2-month study found that mindfulness meditation reduced anxiety in the participants.
It also improved the symptoms of anxiety-related disorders like social anxiety, phobias, paranoid thoughts, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
A follow-up study with 18 volunteers who consistently practiced meditation showed that their anxiety levels had greatly reduced over the long term.
Another study involving 2466 participants showed that various meditation strategies can reduce anxiety levels.
Yoga, for instance, has been proven to help reduce anxiety in people. This may be due to its 2-fold benefits – physical activity and meditative practice.
Meditation also reduced anxiety caused by working under stressful and high-pressure conditions. Particular research showed that meditation reduced anxiety in nurses.
It Boosts Emotional Health
Meditation facilitates an improvement in self-image and leads to a more positive outlook on life.
Another study involving 18 volunteers found that meditation caused a long-term reduction in depression.
When you are stressed, cytokines will be released in your body. Cytokines are inflammatory chemicals. They can cause depression, and also affect a person’s mood. A review of some research suggests that meditation can decrease the production of these inflammatory chemicals, and subsequently, depression.
Meditation Improves Self-Awareness
Meditation can help you understand yourself better. By so doing, you can grow into the best form of yourself.
For instance, self-inquiry meditation allows a person to develop a better understanding of himself or herself and his or her relationship with those around.
Other forms of meditation teach you to be sensitive to self-defeating or harmful thoughts. The goal is to help you gain awareness of your thought patterns and steer them away from destructive patterns.
A study involving 21 women with breast cancer found that when they partook in a tai chi session, their self-esteem rose compared to those who got involved in social support programs.
Another study involving 40 adults of both gender discovered that mindfulness meditation drastically reduced their lonely feelings.
It Increases One’s Attention Span
Meditating with focus and without distraction increases your attention span just like weightlifting increases muscle build. When you meditate, the endurance and strength of your attention increase.
This fact has been proven by a scientific study. The 8-week study which examined the effects of a meditation program found that it caused an improvement in the ability of the participants to reorient or focus their attention.
Another study which examined the effect of mindfulness meditation on human resource workers showed that the practice enabled them to stay focused on their task for a longer time.
The workers who participated in this meditation were able to recall details of their tasks much better than their colleagues who failed to practice meditation.
Also, a review of some studies revealed that meditation can cause a reversal in brain patterns that contribute to poor attention, worrying, and mind-wandering.
It is worth noting that you will benefit greatly from meditation even if it is done for a short period of time.
With Meditation, You Can Fight Addictions
Meditation helps a person to develop mental discipline. Now, when you develop mental discipline, you can break dependencies by increasing your awareness of those things that trigger addictive behaviors, and also by being able to exercise self-control over these behaviors.
Studies have shown that meditation helps people to master the art of redirecting their attention, have full control over their impulses and emotions, increase their will power, and of course, help them to have a better understanding of those factors that are responsible for their addictions (3, 4).
Particular research that taught 19 alcoholics the art of meditation found that those participants who took part in the training were better able to control their cravings as well as stress due to cravings.
With meditation, you can exercise control over food cravings. This has been proven by a review of 14 studies that found that mindfulness meditation allowed participants to exercise control over binge and emotional eating.
These are just a few of the many benefits of meditation for very busy adults. Other benefits include:
- Reduction of blood pressure
- Helps with pain control
- It improves sleep
- Reduces the incidence of memory loss due to aging
Meditation support groups and courses are widely available.
Also, there are very many styles of meditation, each with its own benefits and strengths.
Trying a style that suits your goals can cause a great improvement in your quality of life, even if you do it for just a few minutes daily.