As someone who’s meditated consistently for a long time, it is always surprising to me when people don’t know the benefits of meditation. The practice can even be completely secular with no need for religions and the like. However, inevitably a spiritual aspect will awaken within the practitioner. It’s only a matter of time before the veil starts to fade.
The human brain was made for meditation and doesn’t work to its maximum potential unless someone does so. In a lot of ways, the consistent practice of meditation can make most of a person’s problems vanish from their life, or enhance their relationships with other people. There’s something almost superhuman in the ability to just shut off unproductive thoughts and live in the present moment. Not to mention the enhanced clarity untainted by personal bias.
Though this can have the effect of creating a barrier between the meditator and people who don’t meditate, despite the changes to how you interact with the world, meditation is still 100% worth it for all the positive aspects of consistent meditation practice.
Starting isn’t easy, much less to keep going to the point it becomes an unbreakable habit. But, the most worthwhile things in life always require dedication. Once fully ingrained into a person’s life, the rewards are everlasting. Egoic thinking has stolen our ability to feel the profound sacredness of life, and sadly modern society programs us from birth to think only with a materialistic mindset. Allowing the “monkey mind” to run free is always unproductive. However, with meditation, the majority of stress so many people feel on a daily basis can be let go. So, here are some benefits of meditation:
After an 8 week study on meditation, scientists found that gray matter in the brain was denser in areas used for memory processing, learning, and emotion regulation. These studies scientifically confirmed the objective benefits of meditation. The greatest of which was the decreased gray matter in the amygdala, which deals with stress, blood pressure, and fear. It’s this gray matter in the amygdala that’s behind a lot of people’s emotional problems.
Those with a decreased gray matter amount in the amygdala are unfazed by life’s challenges and can rise to any occasion. Those with a high amount of gray matter are your stereotypical grumpy person who complains all the time and blames everything but themselves for their problems. With meditation, this is avoidable, and the brain can run smoothly and efficiently like it’s supposed to.
Meditating also leads to increased self-awareness. More and more, you’ll notice things about yourself and how you interact with others that went utterly unnoticed before, in a sense helping you “know” yourself.
During meditation, the brain’s default network is activated. The human brain is analogous to an organic computer. Just like a computer, the brain has to be “defragged” once in a while to function correctly. When in the default mode, the brain is at rest and gives no focus to the outside. Spending more and more time in this default mode leads to many beneficial effects. Such as improved goal setting and ambition. Spending prolonged periods in the default mode also significantly increases memory, and you’ll be impressed at your ability to retain knowledge as you’ve never been able to before. Being in the default mode network also increases activity in the brain associated with empathy, so the ability to see things from other people’s point of view becomes much more comfortable.
Meditation will break a lot of the polarities on topics that have been programmed into you, allowing a clarity like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Once this empathy increases enough, you’ll no longer be able to look at other living beings the same way again and most likely steadily become disgusted at the way the powers that be program society.
It literally alters our brain, not only in shape but size too. Studies have revealed when scientists scan a brain during meditation; the readings show increased activity in areas directly correlated with decreased depression and anxiety, as well as increased pain tolerance.
Meditation also changes a person’s brainwaves. If you’re unfamiliar with brainwaves, everyone has them, and various kinds control different aspects of our minds. The main ones are delta, beta, alpha, gamma, and theta.
Studies across the board show that meditators have an abundance of more Alpha waves when compared to non-meditators. Alpha waves vibrate in our minds when we’re relaxed and calm. It removes negative moods, tension, sadness, and anger. Marijuana increases alpha waves in a person’s brain, which is probably one reason why so many people love it. All meditators produce alpha waves in the early stages of learning the practice. Still, as they increase proficiency, they can go even deeper, producing delta waves, and eventually theta as well. These experienced meditators can really go into the Void, to the point they experience strange phenomena beyond their physical bodies.
The changes from meditation don’t only occur in the brain though, it affects the whole body as well. Consistent meditation decreases blood pressure. It also increases the variability in your heart rate, which is necessary for properly transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. People who meditate heal much faster than people who don’t, and there’s many more benefits meditation has on the physical body.
In a study where people became infected with the flu virus, the meditators were able to create a far more significant amount of antibodies compared to the non-meditators. The experiment proved that those who practice meditation, across the board have superior immune systems. But the benefits go even deeper, to the cellular level.
Chromosomes have a protective protein complex called telomeres, whose purpose is to not only reduce damage to DNA but also lower cell death, which keeps people healthy and youthful longer. Those who have shortened telomeres are at risk of a plethora of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. Meditation increases telomere length considerably, making a practitioner dramatically less likely to have any of the aforementioned health problems. Dedicated meditators keep their mind’s crisp, clear, and efficient into old age, and are immune to many disabling afflictions that hamper the elderly.
Probably one of the most significant benefits of meditation is the insane amount of willpower it grants the practitioner. Those who’re dedicated to meditation don’t give up when things get rough, facing challenges with stoic determination, and if there’s one thing that’s key to success in anything, it’s perseverance.
People who meditate basically can’t lose even if they’re beaten. But, with this increased willpower also comes the ability to fight unproductive addictions. With the increased self-awareness meditation grants, it’s easier to spot our bad habits and eradicate them. Such as an addiction to checking one’s phone for social media updates, or watching television constantly, or even engaging in pointless and toxic political debates (which is extremely common in this day and age). As the meditator awakens, all their bad habits begin to fade away, and self-control never dreamed of comes to fruition.
Another benefit is the immense focus that meditation grants. To those who have ADD or ADHD, it can be a huge blessing, in some cases relieving the person of the need to take the medication in general. I’m someone with ADD and took pills for my whole life, but after a few years of meditation, the pharmacy is no longer required. Though this won’t work for everyone, it definitely will help anyone who suffers from the disorder.
After being relieved of so much negativity, the meditator will find they have a huge boost in creativity, confidence, and brain efficiency. It also decreases the feeling of loneliness or the need to be validated by others. It’s through meditation we can become who we are meant to be, and reach the peak of our potential. Stressful over analyzation goes away, and social anxiety becomes non-existent. It allows people to live in the moment. There is no thinking about the past or the future, worrying about this or that. Meditation calls you to the here and now. To the point, thoughts will no longer haunt you, and you become grounded.
The monkey mind will silence as you train the brain to be a tool, not a master. With this objective way of thinking, a plethora of new doors will open to the practitioner, with countless new opportunities revealed thanks to a positive mindset. Like attracts like, as within so without, what we focus on dictates what we encounter in the world. After prolonged meditation, it becomes quite clear the world was never as bad as it seemed, and not even close to as bad as a common unhappy person would like you to believe. Anyone who’s dedicated to a lifelong meditation practice is destined for success no matter what path they choose.
There are many different forms of meditation, and they’re all equally viable. It really comes down to personal preference, or if being taught how to meditate by a teacher’s preference. Meditation will take away the self-absorbed thoughts and worries that plague people, as well as reduce the risk of getting many mental illnesses and physical diseases. It makes people-centered and present, undistracted by the monkey mind. Conversation especially becomes far more enjoyable because you genuinely are there engaging with the person, not just waiting for your turn to speak. There are so many benefits to meditating you’d think it would be mandatory to learn in school, and it is beneficial to literally everyone.