40 benefits of meditation: Some stunning studies
December 3, 2015
Here is an overview of the biggest benefits of meditation, based on latest scientific research: From health benefits to improved cognition and intelligence, from success at work to more harmonious relationships.
STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS:
Benefits of meditation related to quality of life
Increased intelligence – Scientific studies shown that meditating improves the practitioner’s cognitive and intellectual abilities. This effect of ‘becoming smarter’ has been demonstrated by different types of intelligence tests.
Benefits for students – Regular meditation raises school performance (higher academic achievement, less absenteeism, better graduation rates), and that goes for all school levels from kindergarten to college.
Work efficiency – Research has shown reduction in the stress levels and better decision making. This, in turn, leads to higher efficiency at work place in both small and big organizations.
Creativity & problem-solving – Meditating leads to higher brain integration, which in turn sets the basis for mental alertness, original thought and creative problem-solving skills.
Access to higher levels of consciousness – Whereas ordinary human experience is limited to three states of consciousness (wake, asleep, in deep sleep), one of the benefits of regular meditation practice is access to four more refined levels of being.
Transcendental experiences – Study on meditative experiences which were characterized by the practitioners’ partial or complete absence of time, space, and body sense.
Positive emotions and well-being – Research shows that meditation practitioners have 5 times greater clarified gamma output (positive feelings like love, happiness; well-being).
Business leadership and management skills – Is meditating good for business? Evidence from Ray Dalio to Silicon Valley, from Fortune 100 lists to Harvard Business School.
Personal relationships – Three months of Transcendental Meditation practice brings significant improvement in professional and personal relationships, based on increased happiness and reduced stress.
Marital relations – Study measuring long-term marital happiness with Locke’s Adjustment Inventory. Subjects in the TM group showed significantly greater marital satisfaction.
Life expectancy – Mortality rates from various fatal heart conditions were cut by 48% with regular practice of meditation found a key study with patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.
Pregnancy – Interaction of hormones and surrounding physical environment: What are the benefits of meditation practice during pregnancy, both for mothers and newborns?
Brain coherence – Meditating leads to increased frontal coherence — that is, more harmonious and efficient brain activity — as measured during various computer tasks and eyes-closed rest.
Good sleep – Lower levels of stress mean better sleep, don’t they? Taking up meditation regularly, at least twice a day, is a natural home remedy against chronic insomnia (sleeplessness).
Multiple sclerosis – Meditating reduces attacks of multiple sclerosis and relieves related symptoms (weakness, tingling, numbness, and blurred vision) by boosting energy levels.
Distress & coping – Lower blood pressure, decreased psychological distress, increased coping in people at risk for hypertension, a study with meditating college students found.
Glowing skin – Keeping the hormonal levels well balanced and cutting radically down on daily stress leads, among other good things, to beautiful skin and radiantly beautiful looks!
Prevention and relief for diseases & ailments
Stress and anxiety relief – Arguably the single biggest benefit of meditation is a more balanced nervous system and hormonal levels which eliminate any excessive flight-or-fight responses by our body. In other words, meditation has been shown to naturally lead to a calmer life.
Heart diseases and ailments – Improved functional capacity for patients with various heart conditions / heart failure. Risk of heart disease cut by 30%; mortality from stroke decreases 48%.
Normalized blood pressure – Another crucial benefit of meditation is that it reduces blood pressure on average by 7 mm/Hg. It also thus reduces such conditions as heart attack, aneurysm, artery damage, kidney failure etc.
Immune system – Regular Transcendental Meditation practice strengthens the body’s ability to resist disease by boosting immune cells fighting against viruses, bacteria and toxins.
Slower ageing — Telomeres, the all-important chromosome endings which keep your cells fresh and healthy, have recently been shown to get a boost from regular meditation practice. This results in longer life and lower risk of falling pray to various ailments.
Cancer patients’ care – Transcendnetal Meditation and yoga practice are considered the most helpful of all available non-invasive therapies for supportive care of cancer patients.
Autism spectrum disorders – Learning to let the mind calm down in a natural, easy-to-do way helps in growing from frequent temper tantrums into a happy, well-adjusted personality.
Alcohol, nicotine and drug addiction – Meditation significantly reduces addiction to and use of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. With regular practice, the abstinence strengthens naturally.
Depression & burnout – An interesting study with teachers confirmed that meditation significantly decreases work-related stress, burnout states, and various depressive symptoms.
Eating disorders – Research shows that benefits of meditation include more effective recovery from food addiction, due to lower stress levels. Binge eating, as any other kind of addiction, is largely triggered by stress.
Smoking – Academic studies demonstrate that meditation has 50% of smokers quitting in two years after starting to meditate (i.e., three times more effective quit smoking rate than with therapy).
Alcoholism abuse – A comparative study demonstrated that the effect of the Transcendental Meditation technique on reducing alcohol consumption was 1,5 to 8 times that of other programs.
Trait anxiety – According to the meta-analysis, anxiety disorders (panic attacks, anger, tenseness) are ‘rapidly and substantially’ reduced in the first few weeks of meditation practice.
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) – After just 10-days of TM practice, PTSD symptoms (depression, insomnia, fear etc) dropped almost 30 points compared to the base level.
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) – Meditation practice relieves at least five different hyperactivity symptoms (including lack of focus, sleeping problems, depression).
Finally, some useful
40 latest scientific articles – Abstracts, graphs, diagrams and full PDF texts (if not available, then a link to the original academic publication where the texts can be purchased).
10 biggest benefits – An easy-to-read compilation of, arguably, the 10 greatest benefits of regular practice of meditation. From health gains to most important psychological benefits.
Different meditations, different effects – There are several different kinds of meditation techniques. Are the effects of practice also different? Modern brain research answers in the affirmative.
Quotes on health benefits – Compilation of illuminating quotes from people who have first-hand experience of meditation benefits. Wise and inspirational one-liners to take into your day!
Harvard health letter recommends meditation – Harvard Medical School Newsletter gives its thumbs-up for meditation practice, and explains why the benefits reaped from meditating could be the best health insurance around.
American Heart Association meta-analysis – Report by the national medical organization recommending Transcendental Meditation for prevention and treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Infographic on health benefits – Easy to grasp overview of the main health benefits of the TM technique as certified by scientific research. A picture is worth more than a thousand words, so take a look!
The most extensive body of scientific research on meditation
Transcendental Meditation practice is arguably the most researched meditation technique. Its effects and benefits have been subjected to rigorous study for over 40 years now. This body of scientific research has been conducted by over 200 academic institutions (universities, institutes, academic associations etc) in 35 countries. It has resulted in more than 300 peer-reviewed, independently verified articles published in topmost academic journals like American Journal of Physiology, Scientific American, Lancet, Journal of Counseling Psychology, International Journal of Neuroscience, British Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Conflict Resolution, etc.