As I work with my reflexology and mindfulness meditation clients in Kidderminster and the Worcestershire area I regularly see and hear about the positive effects of meditation. I love to read articles promoting meditation, spreading the word about the benefits.
I read with interest "10 reasons to meditate" recently in a national news paper. This brief little piece shared some great points and even covered some recent research.
- " It will help you relax" Meditation provides a break from everyday tasks, an opportunity to slow down and focus on breathing, free from distractions. These few moments can allow the body to relax as well as the mind.
- " It might help your exam results" In a 2013 study regular meditation improved student's exam performance by boosting memory and concentration. Students saw an average of 16% increase, which really could make a difference to the final grade.
- "Preserve the brain" Researchers in California found that people who practiced meditation over 20 years had better preserved brains than non-meditators. The study showed their brains had more grey matter.
- "...or rebuild it" A 2014 study in Harvard found meditation could restore grey matter. In as little as eight weeks changes were seen in brain tissue.
- "It can bring down blood pressure" Transcendental meditation has been seen to trigger the production of telomerase which is an enzyme linked to lower blood pressure.
- "Boost your mood" A review of almost 50 separate studies concluded that meditation can help anxiety and depression. Meditation appeared to strengthen the person's ability to regulate their feelings.
- "It's good for the gut" Many digestive disorders are worsened by stress. A study of women with irritable bowel syndrome found that meditation for eight weeks led to a reduction in pain, bloating and cramps.
- " It can help you quit smoking" A study in Texas found that smokers who meditated alongside using nicotine replacement reduced the amount of cigarettes they smoked, often without noticing!
- "Shed the pounds" It is common for people to make unhealthy food choices when stress levels are high. In 2011 a study of obese women found that meditation helped to reduce comfort eating.
- " And improve sleep" Meditation for only six weeks can help reduce insomnia, a study found. The investigation found that the subjects who meditated improved more over six weeks than those on a sleep education course.