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benefits of meditation

108 Benefits of Daily Meditation

In this in depth article we will take a closer look at 108 of the many reasons why meditation is so beneficial for our mind, body and spirit.

Meditation has been around for quite a while now (thousands of years) and many people may already know some of the benefits of daily meditation through their own experience or through hearing an experience of a friend.

But, some may not know about the many studies that have been or are currently being done on meditation. Lots of research has been conducted on the positive effects of meditation over the last 30 or so years – over 500 papers published in the last year alone.

All of this research provides a significant amount of evidence for the positive effects of daily meditation. The research is also showing that the positive effects from meditation can be accessed from not just one style, but many of the meditation styles being practiced today.

“Lots of Research Has Been Conducted on the Positive Effects of Meditation – Over 500 Papers Published in the Last Year Alone”

 

If you haven’t tried meditation before, seeing the evidence from these studies could provide a little nudge to give it a try and see if you receive any of the benefits mentioned. Or, if you already meditate, it may reinforce what you already know and maybe make a deeper commitment to doing it on a more regular basis.

Before starting work on writing this post I felt like I had a pretty good idea of the benefits of meditation, after all I’ve been meditating daily for over 17 years now and have seen firsthand from my own experience as well as friends how much it has improved both mine and their life. But, I have to say that I still learned so much from researching and writing this, so much more than I expected.

My intention with this article is to reach a wider audience and not just share the reasons and benefits of doing meditation, but also provide a more relatable view of the research being done on meditation.

“My Intention is to Provide a More Relatable View of the Research Being Done on Meditation Today”

 

Meditation is such a simple practice and pretty much anyone can do it if they give it a chance. It just seems like a no-lose situation, especially when you read all the reasons below why meditation is so beneficial, and it would be great if more people could experience these benefits for themselves.

I have organized the 108 benefits into 4 main groups, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual to help simplify the layout. Please use the Table of Contents if you would like to jump to a particular area of interest. Since this is such a massive post, I’m hoping it will help cut down on scroll fatigue.

Table of Contents
  • 1. Infographic
  • 2. Physical Benefits
  • 3. Mental Benefits
  • 4. Emotional Benefits
  • 5. Spiritual Benefits
  • 6. Conclusion: Bringing It All Together

Rather Have the Short Version? Here’s Just 10 Reasons Why Daily Meditation is so Beneficial (Infographic)

10 reasons why daily meditation is so beneficial

Physical Benefits of Meditation

In this section we take a closer look at some of the top researched physical benefits of meditation.

      1.)        Reduced Heart Disease and Stroke

A research team from the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Iowa conducted a study using Transcendental meditation to determine correlation between reduction in stress through meditation and heart disease and stroke.

In this study, led by Robert Schneider, M.D., the findings were that regular/daily meditation helped reduce the risk of death, heart attack and stroke by 48 percent.

Source: American Heart Association

      2.)        Increased Immunity

In a randomized, controlled study to verify the effect of meditation on brain and immune function, a group of employees were taught meditation using an 8 week mindfulness meditation program.

Significant increases in antibodies were noted among the meditation group compared to those in the control group. The findings indicated that mindfulness meditation produces measurable improvement in immune function.

Source: NCBI

“Mindfulness Meditation Produces Measurable Improvement In Immune Function”

 

      3.)        Reduces Blood Pressure

In a controlled study over a 4 month period, subjects were assigned to one of two groups, one group practiced Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the other was given a cognitive based education program to practice.

It was found that those that practiced Transcendental Meditation over the 4 month period had a significant reduction (9mm Hg) in ambulatory blood pressure.

Source: International Journal Of Neuroscience

      4.)        Reduced PMS Symptoms

In an article published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, researcher I.L. Goodale and team carried out a 5 month study including 46 women.

In this study the women were separated into 3 groups, one of those groups being designated to learn relaxation response techniques, which included meditation.

It was found that women with severe PMS symptoms showed a 58% improvement in their symptoms.

It was concluded that by doing exercises that produce the relaxation response, such as meditation and yoga, that women experiencing PMS and especially severe PMS could consider it an effective treatment for their symptoms of PMS.

Source: Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine

      5.)        Increasing Longevity

The length of Telomeres, a protective nucleoprotein protecting the ends of chromosomes, is considered to be a key indicator of cellular aging.

It has been found that Telomeres appear to shorten with age and/or if there are health risk factors involved. Stress also appears to have an influence on the rate of telomere shortening.

In a recent paper published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences the connection between telomere length and reduced stress is showing in initial findings that mindfulness meditation may have a beneficial effect on telomere length, the rate of telomere shortening and the slowing of the aging process.

Source: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

“Meditation May Have a Beneficial Effect on Telomere Length and the Slowing of the Aging Process”

 

      6.)        Reduced Inflammation and Inflammatory Conditions

In a randomized controlled trial with 45 people placed into two groups, the first group learning methods of Kirtan Kriya Meditation and the second listening to relaxing music, it was found after an 8 week follow up that pro-inflammatory markers were reduced and reversed, which were apparently affected by a change in gene expression.

Source:  Psychoneuroendocrinology

      7.)        Decreased Need for Sleep

In a recent study conducted with university students it was found that those that meditated for longer periods of time where associated with a significant decreases in total sleep time when compared to those that did not meditate.

Source: Biomed Central

      8.)        Lower Cortisol

A recent study done with medical students explored the role of mindfulness in relation to stress reduction and cortisol levels.

There were 30 students that participated. Their blood was drawn before they attended a 4 day mindfulness meditation program and again after. It was found that not only perceived stress had been reduced, but also the stress hormone cortisol was reduced significantly.

Source: Europe Pubmed Central

      9.)        Reverse Aging

In a study to determine the effect of mind-body therapies such as meditation on age related gene expression, it was found that gene markers that play a key role in the aging process were reversed after the 21 day study was completed.

Thereby concluding that Meditation, and other mind-body therapies, may slow or reverse aging on a genetic level.

Source: Advances in Aging Research

    10.)      Pain Management

There have been many studies on mindfulness, and more specifically Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) introduced by Jon Kabat-Zinn, being a solid pain management strategy for many people.

These studies go all the way back to 1982, but a more recent study pairing Mindfulness with Virtual Reality (VR) technology has been shown to take those results a step further.

The VR technology incorporated a fully immersive experience using biofeedback sensors, immersive virtual environment and stereoscopic sound to create an experience they called a “Virtual Meditative Walk”. The participants practiced mindfulness techniques while also using the VR technology.

The study concluded that the VR mindfulness meditation approach was even more effective in reducing perceived pain than the already effective non-VR approach.

Source: ResearchGate

“VR Mindfulness Meditation Even More Effective in Reducing Perceived Pain Than Already Effective Non-VR Mindfulness Meditation”

 

    11.)      More Energy and/or Better Energy Efficiency

In a randomized study of breast cancer patients undergoing radiation over a 6 week period, it was found that for those that participated in a meditation group therapy had a reduction of fatigue and increase in energy overall.

Source: ScienceDirect

    12.)      Reduced Menopause Symptoms

A recent randomized controlled trial by the American Cancer Society which included breast cancer survivors evaluated the effects of a 12 week yoga and meditation program on menopausal symptoms.

After the 12 weeks concluded the participants in the meditation and yoga program group were reported as having less menopausal symptoms as well as having an improved quality of life.

They concluded that yoga and meditation is a safe and effective solution for menopausal symptoms.

Source: Wiley Online Library

“Yoga and Meditation is a Safe and Effective Solution for Menopausal Symptoms”

 

    13.)      Improved Sleep

It has been found that meditation promotes better sleep in older adults. In a trial with 24 individuals over the age of 55 years old being assigned randomly to either a mindfulness meditation practice group or a structured program on changing poor sleep habits, it was found that over a 6 week period that the mindfulness meditation group had a significant improvement in sleep quality versus the control group.

Source: Jama Network

    14.)      Quicker Healing/Recovery

Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center has understood and utilized the power of meditation for years. Their course of aftercare for a surgery includes meditation, yoga, and massage therapy.

Patients are even given the option of listening to a meditative recording during their surgery. This course of care is based on the results of different independent research studies on meditative healing.

Research suggested that people who use the recording are better able to deal with the pain after surgery. It has been reported this is due to the impact that meditation has on the immune system.

Source: Psychiatric Times

    15.)      Increased Brain Wave Coherence

Researchers in Maharishi University investigated the impact of meditation on brain wave coherence. They discovered that during the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, brainwaves become positively correlated with one another and similar over time.

Eventually, these brainwaves seem to expand to different areas of the brain and the effect grows. Researchers suggested
this was EEG coherence. It is a crucial finding as this form of coherence has been related to increased intelligence and higher levels of creativity.

The research also seemed to suggest that the effects of the TM technique were long term. They were present even after meditation had stopped.

Source: Skeptics On TM

    16.)      Helps with Insomnia

A study at Harvard revealed that meditation could help those who suffer from insomnia. The research used a group of middle-aged adults, all of whom had trouble sleeping.

Half of the group was shown forms of meditation that helped them focus on moment to moment experiences. By the end of six sessions, the individuals shown meditative techniques were suffering from less insomnia, fatigue, and depression.

It was suggested the results were due to meditation triggering the relaxation response. While in this state, the mind is able to help with a number of issues more effectively such as depression.

Source: Harvard Health

“Individuals Shown Meditative Techniques Suffer From Less Insomnia, Fatigue and Depression”

 

    17.)      Balance Endocrine System

Further research has suggested that meditation can improve the function of the endocrine system. The study used an MRI to show that meditation increases brain activity in areas related to voluntary and automated responses.

Again, this demonstrates that meditation could have an impact on the immune system, thus benefiting all the organs in the body. When the endocrine system is harmonized in this way, the body may remain fit, healthy and youthful.

Researchers have theorized that these findings are related to the perceived effect of meditation on stress. Through meditation, harmful toxins in the body may be reduced.

Source: Science Direct

    18.)      Tones Nervous System

A study by Harvard researchers investigated the effect of meditation for one individual. They examined the impact that meditation could have on the body of an individual who could withstand extremely cold temperatures.

The participant held several world records for this type of activity. Researchers concluded that the participant was able to do this due to the effect of meditation on the nervous system.

Through meditation, the individual was able to initiate a controlled stress response. In doing so, he was able to trigger the innate immune response and thus protect his body.

Source: PLOS

    19.)      Reduced Need for Medical Care

Modern medicine has started to embrace the idea that meditation could be beneficial as a form of care and treatment. This idea began to develop in the late eighties.

A researcher investigated the effect of group therapy on patients with breast cancer. He found that the women who participated in these therapy sessions experienced a better quality of life and suffered from lower levels of pain.

These findings triggered further research into mind-body medicine with overwhelming results. Researchers have since discovered that meditation and other mind-body approaches may help patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Source: US National Library of Medicine

“Meditation and Other Mind-Body Approaches May Help Patients With Cardiovascular Diseases”

 

    20.)      Reduced Allergies

Researchers at a medical college in India investigated the impact of breathing meditation on respiratory issues. They wanted to investigate how breathing meditation could impact conditions such as asthma and hay fever allergies.

They found that through meditating, patients experienced positive effects on their conditions. Interestingly the benefits of breathing meditation were seen in patients no matter what their age or sex.

The study suggested that the results presented more evidence that breathing meditation could help patients suffering from physical conditions. Even experiencing the effects of breathing meditation through a short period could have a significant impact.

Source: Research Gate

    21.)      Decreases Muscle Tension

In 1978 a research study investigated the impact of the relaxation response on muscle tension. The relaxation response is widely believed to be triggered through meditation.

Postoperative patients were separated into two groups. One group was taught relaxation techniques that included a form of meditation.

Subjects muscle tension when attempting to get out of bed was recorded. The research revealed patients who had been taught the relaxation techniques experienced less muscle tension.

When they left the bed, they experienced lower levels of pain compared to the control group. Due to this result, researchers suggested that meditation could be used to help post-surgery patients.

Source: Nursing Research

    22.)      Slows Heart Rate

A study at Harvard University in 2003 examined the impact of different forms of meditation on heart rate. The study investigated how meditative techniques impacted heart rate in relation to breathing.

Although the study provided mixed results, researchers were able to conclude that heart rate was impacted by certain forms of meditation. During periods where participants were reaching low-frequency brain waves, the heart rate was significantly slower.

Source: Science Direct

    23.)      Increases Blood Flow

The University Of Philadelphia ran a study to understand the impact of meditation on blood flow. Regional cerebral blood flow changes were measured using single photon emission computed tomography.

Experienced Tibetan Buddhist monks were used during this research study. The participants were asked to meditate between for forty-five minutes to an hour and a half.

During this period, their blood flow was measured. The research showed increases in blood flow through different regions of the brain. It showcased a distinct physical impact of meditation on the brain.

Researchers concluded that there is a complex effect on regional cerebral blood flow during meditation.

Source: Science Direct

    24.)      Increase Serotonin

Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa is the president of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Foundation. He has found that through meditation, serotonin levels in the brain can be increased.

Serotonin production can be increased by using a number of different drugs including Prozac. However, these drugs often cause patients to develop negative side effects.

Through meditation, serotonin levels can be naturally increased. It does this by reducing high levels of stress that prevent the development of serotonin.

Low serotonin levels have also been linked to the development of dementia.

Source: IOS Press

“Through Meditation, Serotonin Levels Can Be Naturally Increased”

 

    25.)      Reduced Skin Conditions

A study investigated whether or not meditation and other mind techniques could improve the rate that patients recover from psoriasis.

During other forms of treatment, a group of patients were assigned a mindful meditation stress reduction task. A control group completed treatment for their condition without the additional support.

Researchers discovered that patients in the meditation group recovered far more rapidly compared to the control group. They concluded that meditation could benefit patients during this period of recovery.

Source: Journal Of Biobehavioral Medicine

    26.)      Better Hormone Regulation

Researchers investigated the effect of psychological interventions on hormone regulation in patients with HIV. Previous research has revealed that patients with HIV experience higher levels of stress throughout their life.

The research aimed to find a way to improve patient’s quality of life and reduce suffering through hormone regulation. Low regulation of hormones and high levels of depression have been correlated with a shorter life expectancy for HIV patients.

The research revealed that psychological interventions do have a positive effect on hormone regulation. Although the impact on life expectancy is significantly lower.

Source: US National Library Of Medicine

    27.)      Increases Neuroplasticity

Research has suggested that extended periods of meditation could increase neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the function of changing the development and structure of the brain.

Through meditation, Tibetan monks that have meditated for thousands of hours have altered their minds. The results were discovered by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Researchers found that the meditators had not just altered the structure but the function of the brain by creating new neural pathways.

Source: US National Library Of Medicine

    28.)      Increased Gray Matter in Brain

In 2011, a study at Massachusetts General Hospital showed evidence that meditation could increase gray matter in certain areas of the brain. Researchers investigated the effect of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

Through this meditative technique, researchers found gray matter increased in certain areas of the brain for a handful of participants. Changes in gray matter concentration occurred in areas related to learning, memory and perspective taking.

It is important to note that participants involved in the study had never completed meditation before and only used therapeutic treatment for eight weeks. Researchers concluded that this demonstrates the powerful short-term effect of meditation on the brain.

Source: Science Direct

“Changes In Gray Matter Concentration in the Brain Occurred in Areas Related to Learning, Memory and Perspective”

 

    29.)      Prevent Asthma

The University Of Medical Sciences in Iran investigated the potential of meditation reducing the chance of an Asthma attack. Researchers studied the effect of meditation and yoga.

The aim was to find a form of treatment for asthma when medicine was unavailable. Researchers found that both treatments were effective at reducing the chance of asthma attack.

They concluded that in a desperate situation both could be used to prevent asthma worsening without medicine.

Source: World Journal of Medical Sciences

    30.)      Better Regulate Heart Rate and Respiratory Rate

Researchers at the University Of Sao Paulo investigated the possibility of meditation positively impacting heart rate. Participants involved in the study engaged in a form of meditation for ten days.

During this time, researchers found that the impact of Vipassana, a form of meditation, was significant. Heart rate variability and respiratory rate were both improved with patients in the experimental group and experienced an increase in well-being.

Researchers concluded that the results were due to a state of full immersion in an activity.

Source: International Journal Of Psychophysiology

“Heart Rate Variability and Respiratory Rate Both Improved and They Also Experienced an Increase in Well-Being”

 

    31.)      Better Manage Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that causes patients immense forms of physical pain. This can be a chronic pain the back, limbs or any other part of the body. There is no cure for the condition and doctors are still not sure what causes Fibromyalgia.

However, they have found that meditation may be used to manage the effects of the condition. Lead by Kenneth Kaplan MD, researchers gave patients meditative activities to reduce stress.

Over a period of ten weeks, researchers found that fifty-one percent of patients showed marked improvements. They experienced less fatigue and lower levels of pain that were caused by their condition.

Source: General Hospital of Psychiatry

    32.)      Reduced Metabolic Syndrome

Maura Paul-Labrador led a team of researchers to analyze the effect of transcendental meditation on metabolic syndrome. They used patients suffering from coronary heart disease as participants due to the theory that metabolic syndrome is a cause of the disease.

Transcendental meditation was used by an experimental group of patients for sixteen weeks. A control group was given health education.

The results showed that the experimental group experienced positive reactions such as improved blood pressure and insulin resistance. As such, researchers were able to present meditation as a form of treatment for metabolic syndrome.

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine

    33.)      Reduced Atherosclerosis

It has been widely reported that stress increases the onset of atherosclerosis. Researchers were keen to investigate whether reducing levels of stress could benefit patients with this condition.

African American patients were given stress reduction methods using a TM program. In hypertensive African Americans, it was discovered that this form of treatment was effective. The transcendental meditation was able to reduce carotid atherosclerosis in the patients studied.

Source: US National Library Of Medicine

“Meditation Was Able to Reduce Carotid Atherosclerosis in the Patients Studied”

 

    34.)      Reduce and Manage Cholesterol

A research group led by Rashmi Vyas wanted to investigate the claims that yoga and meditation could have a cholesterol lowering effect. They hoped that this research would help patients suffering from conditions such as coronary artery disease.

The study was designed to investigate the impact of yoga meditation, and the result was promising. Participants who used the meditative treatment had lower levels of cholesterol for long and short term periods.

Researchers concluded that this could mean meditation may reduce the chance of patients developing coronary artery disease.

Source: IMSEAR

    35.)      Reduce Emotional Eating

In 1999 Indiana University researched the effect of meditation on treating binge eating. The research investigated the impact of extended periods of meditation on obese women.

The study found that binge eating behavior was reduced after a period of just four weeks. As well as this the female participants experienced less anxiety and reduced levels of depression.

Source: Journal Of Health Psychology

    36.)      Improved Physical Stamina

Research has demonstrated that meditation has a number of positive impacts on physical processes in the body. It should come as no surprise that these benefits have been shown to increase physical stamina.

Through meditation, people are able to exercise for longer even during difficult circumstances. Stamina is dramatically improved due to meditation allowing the body to balance different needs.

Emotional and physical well-being are connected, putting people in the right frame of mind to allow increases in physical stamina.

Source: The Mindful Psychologist

    37.)      Deep Physical Relaxation

Researchers have investigated the impact of meditation versus exercise on physical relaxation. Physical relaxation refers to the process of allowing the muscles in the body to release, not just the mind.

Davidson and Schwartz compared two groups of participants. One participated in forms of exercise to relax their body, while the other practiced basic forms of meditation.

The meditative group was shown to experience a level of physical relaxation that was deeper compared to the exercise group. The study suggested further evidence that meditation is beneficial for the body as well as the mind.

Source: Psychosomatic Medicine Journal

“Meditation is Beneficial for the Body as Well as the Mind”

 

    38.)      Help With Weight Loss

Shawn Katterman led researchers in an investigation of the effect of meditation on weight loss. The researchers hypothesized that since meditation has been shown to reduce levels of stress, it could help patients with weight loss.

In particular the researchers were interested in the effect of meditation on binge eating. The study showed that meditation can help patients lose weight due to the emotional cause of overeating. As such, patients who meditate may benefit from faster weight loss compared to other individuals.

Source: Science Direct

    39.)      Help With Headaches & Migraines

In 2008 researchers presented evidence that meditation could help reduce migraines. Migraines are commonly caused due to issues with blood flow in the brain.

As evidence had already suggested that meditation could change blood flow, Wachholtz and Pargament hypothesized it could also reduce headaches. The study investigated the effect of meditation on migraines in 83 participants.

Results showed that participants who did complete meditation techniques experienced less pain due to migraines. They also found that migraines lasted for shorter durations when meditation had been used.

The researchers suggested this demonstrated the positive physical results of spiritual thinking.

Source: Springer Link

    40.)      Infertility

Studies have consistently been run to investigate the impact of a behavioral activity on fertility. Researchers hypothesized that a behavioral treatment program including meditation could lower the chances of infertility.

54 women participated where behavioral treatment was used as a form of therapy for low levels of fertility. During the study, participant’s experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression.

It is believed that these are some of the main psychological causes of infertility. 34 percent of the women involved in the study were also pregnant within six months of completing the program.

The researchers suggested that behavioral therapy such as meditation may improve fertility rates for couples with low fertility rates.

Source: Science Direct

“Meditation May Improve Fertility Rates for Couples with Low Fertility Rates”

 

    41.)      Improved Sex Life

Many studies have suggested that meditation could have an indirect effect on the quality of sex. This is due to the impact meditation has on the mind and the body as well as how this connects to the act of coitus.

Studies have shown that meditation can help lower the heart rate and regulate the breathing. Due to this, individuals are able to participate in sexual activities for longer without losing control.

They are also able to engage in more strenuous sexual activities that result in more pleasure. Spiritually, meditation has also been linked with improving low self-awareness, one of the common causes of premature ejaculation.

Source: Psychology Today

    42.)      Reduced Digestive Issues

There are a number of studies that show meditation is effective at reducing levels of stress. Stress can have physical impacts on the body such as is the case in patients with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

The stress experienced by these patients makes it more difficult for them to digest food properly. Researchers suggested that meditation could therefore reduce levels of stress and improve digestion in IBS patients.

Using experimental and control groups, researchers found that those using meditative techniques did experience lower levels of stress. Their digestive ability was also dramatically improved.

Source: International Journal of Indian Psychology

    43.)      Surgery Preparation and Recovery

A team lead by Dr Jane Leserman investigated the effect of relaxation response on patients before surgery. Relaxation response can be triggered through meditation, as was the case in this study.

The study examined whether relaxation through meditation could lead to less discomfort for the patient and even a better physical outcome. Interestingly, the research showed that patients in the relaxed response group were less likely to develop post op issues.

As well as this, they seemed to experience lower levels of negative emotions such as anger. Researchers concluded that relaxation therapy could benefit both post and pre-op patients.

Source: Journal of Behavioral Medicine

 

Mental Benefits of Meditation

In this section we take a closer look at some of the top researched mental benefits of meditation.

    44.)      Improved Focus

In a recent study to measure the ability to increase focus and memory with meditation, a group of researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara gathered a group of 48 undergraduates that were then separated into 2 groups.

The first group learned mindfulness meditation techniques while the second group learned about nutrition. Both classes met for 45 minutes four times per week over 2 weeks. A standardized test was conducted before and after the 2 week period.

The findings showed that the scores improved in the meditation group, but not the nutrition group. They concluded that mindfulness meditation improves a persons ability to focus and improve memory.

Source: Sage Journals, The Atlantic

    45.)      Increases Resilience to Stress

Recent research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that even brief mindfulness meditation practice helps to relieve psychological stress. In this study, J. David Creswell and his team investigate how mindfulness meditation may impact someone’s ability to cope with stress during social stressors.

The participants who received the brief (3 Day) mindfulness meditation training reported having a reduced feeling of perceived stress, indicating that the mindfulness meditation improved psychological resilience to stress.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University , Science Direct

“Participants Practicing Mindfulness Meditation Reported Having a Reduced Feeling of Perceived Stress, Indicating Improved Psychological Resilience to Stress”

 

    46.)      Improves Decision Making

Research has shown that meditation has an impact on both blood flow and gray matter concentration in the brain. Both have been suggested to be connected to decision making. Researchers were eager to investigate whether meditation could have a direct impact on decisions made by patients.

To examine this, they used a group of substance abusers. Results revealed that patients practicing levels of mindfulness related to meditation were better at decision making and also showcased improvements in working memory.

The researchers concluded that mindfulness and meditation could be used to benefit substance abusers decision making.

Source: Science Direct

    47.)      Improved Learning

Researchers have also investigated the impact that meditation could have on job performance in a work environment. A study was run to examine whether meditation improved self-directive learning as well as organizational performance.

Researchers found positive results across the board with workers learning ability and organizational skills both improving. Although researchers cautioned that the results may only be present in a particular work environment they did suggest wide implications.

As theorized, meditation may well improve learning ability on cognitive tasks as well as social interaction.

Source: Emerald Insight

    48.)      Clarity of Thought

Marc Schure investigated whether meditation had an impact on clarity of thought in 2008. To research this possibility, he used a group of students for a qualitative study that lasted four years.

The design of the study allowed him to accurately measure the effect of meditation over a long term period. Experiment group participants engaged in a fifteen-week mindfulness course where they learned how to meditate.

Participants in the experimental group claimed that they experienced higher levels of clarity through thought processes. They also suggested that they experienced both mental and physical benefits from the course.

Many expressed a desire to continue meditative practices throughout their working life. The study demonstrated the massive potential of meditation on general thought processes.

Source: Proquest

    49.)      Ability to Handle Stress under Pressure

Many people who experience difficulty handling stressful situations have high blood pressure. This can present a serious danger to their health and put them more at risk of conditions like heart disease.

Researchers have investigated the impact meditation can have on how participants deal with stress. A study in 2008 found participants who engaged in transcendental meditation were far better at handling stress compared with a control group.

They also showed evidence that participant’s high blood pressure was reduced throughout the program. Therefore, meditation could have a positive physical and emotional impact in stressful situations.

Source: American Journal of Hypertension

    50.)      Better Grades for Students

In 1999 a research study investigated the impact of meditation on the academic performance of African American students. Participants were a group of psychology students at Hampton University. The lead researcher, Pamela Hall separated participants into a control and experimental group.

She then measured the effects of meditation over a full semester of college. The results showed that meditation seemed to directly improve academic performance in students.

Hall concluded that the study presented evidence that meditation may improve learning and memory, leading to higher levels of academic achievement.

Source: Journal Of Black Studies

“Meditation May Improve Learning and Memory, Leading to Higher Levels of Academic Achievement”

 

    51.)      Improves Organization

David Frew investigated whether or not meditation could improve organization and therefore job performance in a group of workers. He used six measures of productivity including level of organization during his study.

Frew found that participants who used meditation were more productive in their job performance. They were better organized and far more efficient.

However, Frew also found evidence that meditation affects performance outside of work as well. Participants reported that after meditation they could more effectively organize and arrange interpersonal relationships.

Source: Academy Of Management Journal

    52.)      Increased Ability to Solve Complex Problems

It has widely been reported that meditation has an impact on intelligence and learning. Researchers in 1981 expanded this concept by investigating whether meditation could be used to increase problem solving ability.

The results here were mixed but still positive. Participants that engaged in transcendental meditation techniques were better at dealing with problems related to visual stimuli.

However, the effect for verbal problem solving tasks was not significant. Still, researchers have suggested meditation could be beneficial when solving problems.

Source: Springer Link

    53.)      Increased Will Power

Researchers have suggested that meditating for a few minutes each day could increase levels of will power. Dr Kelly McGonigal of Stanford University theorized that this is due to the impact that meditation has on gray matter.

Research has shown that meditation increases the concentration of gray matter in areas of the brain connected to decision making.

Due to this, meditating could help people make the right decisions and improve their power of will. The effect of this has been examined on people trying to quit smoking in the past.

Source: The Willpower Instinct

“Research Has Shown That Meditation Increases the Concentration of Gray Matter in Areas of the Brain Connected to Decision Making”

 

    54.)      Increased Satisfaction in Life

In 2009 a study was run to investigate whether counselors who meditate experience higher levels of satisfaction in their job. It was a massive research experiment that surveyed over 150 different counselors.

Counselors were measured on levels of meditation and other self-care practices. The study concluded that counselors who practiced more than five hours of meditation per week were more likely to be satisfied.

Lead researcher Ron Ringenbach also concluded that self-medication could benefit the patients of counselors as well as themselves.

Source: Ohio Link

    55.)      Reduce Symptoms of PTSD

In 1980, research was presented that showcased the effect of TM on patients struggling to adjust after returning from fighting in Vietnam. There was two groups of soldiers studied here using a randomized model.

One group was given meditative treatment to help improve their PTSD condition. The other was given a different form of therapy. The results showed that patients in the meditation group improved on all eight variables.

Patients in the therapy group showed no improvements at all. Based on the results of this study, researchers concluded that meditation may be effective in treating PTSD.

Source: Wiley Online Library

“Researchers Concluded that Meditation May be Effective in Treating PTSD”

 

    56.)      More Creativity and Ideas

An article in 2006 investigated the evidence to support the idea that meditation could be used in school to increase creativity. Some of the research investigated highlighted that meditation had been shown to have a physical impact on part of the brain related to perspective taking.

Perspective taking allows children to see different ideas from new viewpoints and therefore stimulates creativity. The article suggested that introducing meditation into schools would benefit both learning and creativity.

Source: Science Direct

    57.)      Reduced Mental Health Conditions

Daniel Goleman investigated the impact of meditation on mental health conditions. He did this by studying the idea of Abhidhamma, an Asian interpretation of consciousness.

The idea presented suggests that mental health functions can inhibit negative sets. Due to this, through meditation, it is possible to reduce the impact of mental health conditions on the mind.

There is research to suggest this is the case. Indeed, in the past studies presented have shown meditation can reduce levels of depression and anxiety. Both are present in a number of severe mental conditions.

Source: American Journal Of Psychotherapy, CiteSeerX

    58.)      Better Work Efficiency

Chan and Woollacott hypothesized that long term meditation could improve levels of efficiency and executive function. To examine this possibility, participants were given a number of different activities to complete including the Stroop Task.

The results showed that participants who meditated had less difficulty on the Stroop Task due to lower levels of cognitive interference. The researchers concluded that this could demonstrate that meditation may positively impact efficiency in certain tasks.

Source: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

“Meditation May Positively Impact Efficiency in Certain Tasks”

 

    59.)      Broaden Perspective

Due to the fact that meditation affects the area of the mind related to willpower and inhibition, it may help you to see the bigger picture as well.

Rather than thinking about one instance, a clearer thought process allows you to understand how one decision could have several consequences.

As such people who meditate may be able to think further ahead than other people, have a broader perspective of life and not stress over little things.

Source: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

    60.)      Increases Perceptual Ability and Motor Performance

Maharishi International University investigated the impact of meditation on perception and motor performance in the late eighties. They tested participants on two different stimuli over an extended period.

Participants were asked to complete the Culture Fair Intelligence Test and the Group Embedded Test. This was run over a period of four years with half the participants engaging in Transcendental Meditation techniques.

Researchers discovered that participants who used meditation were more effective on these assessments. They concluded that meditation could have a direct impact on both traits.

Source: Sage Journals

    61.)      Increased Intelligence

In 2010 researchers found evidence that extended periods of meditation could lead to higher levels of intelligence. They discovered this by testing participants on attention tasks and perceptual discrimination.

Both have been positively linked with higher levels of intelligence. Researchers found that participants using TM techniques were more effective at maintaining attention throughout a task.

They were also able to discriminate against information that was not useful or important. Researchers suggested that meditation could therefore have an indirect effect on levels of intelligence.

Source: Science Direct

    62.)      Improve ADHD

The University Of California set out to uncover the benefits of meditation for patients with ADHD in 2007. They suggested that mindful techniques could be beneficial for both adults and children with ADHD. 24 adults and 8 children were enrolled in an eight week course that encouraged mindfulness.

After completing the program, all participants experienced improvements through self-reporting. Researchers also noted that participants experienced lower levels of depression and anxiety. The study concluded that meditation may be a useful interventional tool for patients with ADHD.

Source: Journal of Attention Disorders

“Meditation May be a Useful Interventional Tool for Patients with ADHD”

 

    63.)      Rapid Memory Recall

Another study investigated the effect of short term meditation on processes such as rapid memory recall. Researchers led by Fadel Zeidan worked to develop evidence that showed long term meditation could have a positive impact on different cognitive functions such as attention.

The results showed that after just four days of meditation, rapid memory recall was improved. They also demonstrated that positive effects on attention could be seen, even when meditation was used for a short period.

As such, researchers concluded that rapid memory recall and other cognitive processes could be improved through brief periods of meditation.

Source: Science Direct

    64.)      Increase in Gamma Waves

In an article for the Washington Post, Kaufman published evidence that showcased meditation could positively charge the brain. He theorized that this could be another reason for the increases in cognitive function seen through meditation.

People have long since believed that meditation can impact the level at which the brain can function. But it was only recently that science started to present empirical evidence of this.

In a research study on Tibetan monks, scientists found that these individuals could increase their gamma waves. These powerful electrical surges are believed to be incredibly important in complex functions of the brain.

Source: Washington Post

      65.)      Reduce OCD Symptoms

17 people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) participated in a recent controlled pilot study which measured the effects of mindfulness with those having OCD.

The participants were separated into two groups. The first group received training in mindfulness and the second group formed a waiting list control group.

The researchers found after 8 group meetings that the participants ability to let go, a key symptom of OCD, was shown to completely resolve.

The study demonstrated that mindfulness meditation may reduce OCD symptoms for those that have OCD.

Source: Journal of Mental and Nervous Disease

“Mindfulness Meditation May Reduce OCD Symptoms For Those That Have OCD”

 

      66.)      Increased Optimism

In a study to determine the effect of practicing loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions a group of 139 people, half of which were assigned to learn and practice loving-kindness meditation, were found over time to have an increase in life satisfaction and an increasingly optimistic outlook on life, in contrast to those that didn’t practice the meditation exercise.

Source: National Library of Medicine

      67.)      Improve Bipolar Disorder

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been shown to improve anxiety and depression in those with bipolar disorder.

In a recent study with 23 patients with bipolar, it was found that those that participated in the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) program, which includes meditation, had improved mindfulness and reduced anxiety.

Source: Science Direct

Emotional Benefits of Meditation

In this section we take a closer look at some of the top researched emotional benefits of meditation.

    68.)      Reduced Stress

Other researchers have investigated whether or not meditation can help reduce levels of stress that patients feel. Through meditating, people may be able to see the bigger picture because their mind is clear.

But, researchers were keen to demonstrate the medical implications of this. Using people with anxiety conditions as participants, researchers investigated whether levels of stress were reduced through meditation.

Researchers successfully concluded that over a lengthened period meditation could benefit patients like this. They experienced less stress overall and were able to function more effectively.

Source: American Journal of Psychiatry

    69.)      Reduced Anxiety

In 1995, Miller and Fletcher analyzed how meditation impacted anxiety levels in patients suffering from mental conditions. The duo completed two studies with one three years later.

Due to this, they were able to demonstrate the long term effects of meditation on anxiety levels. The results demonstrated that patients using meditative techniques experienced lower levels of anxiety compared to the control group.

They were also able to conclude that mindful meditation could be presented as a beneficial treatment plan for patients with anxiety disorders.

Source: General Hospital Psychiatry Journal

    70.)      Better Understand and Process Emotions

In 2008 a research study was run to investigate the impact of positive emotions on personal well-being. A study was designed with two groups, one of which engaged in daily positive meditation techniques.

The study showed that the experimental group participants were able to understand and process emotions more effectively. Due to this, they could engage more with people in society and have a better understanding of their purpose in life.

The researchers concluded that positive thinking could have an impact on general interactions in society.

Source: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

    71.)      Increased Feelings of Vitality

A longitudinal study running from 1997 to 2003 investigated the impact of meditation on suffering of chronic pain patients. The design of the study was intended to show the effects of both short and long term meditation.

Researchers suggested that meditation might be effective at reducing the level of pain experienced by patients. Instead, they demonstrated that meditation was able to change the way participants felt about their condition.

Through meditation patients experienced increased feelings of vitality and health. This occurred even though their pain did not decrease.

Source: Journal of Psychosomatic Research

“Through Meditation Patients Experienced Increased Feelings of Vitality and Health”

 

    72.)      Increased Emotional Stability

Two researchers investigated the effect of meditation on autonomic stability as early as 1973. They investigated levels of stress and other negative emotions in sixteen subjects.

The researchers suggested that meditation should be able to reduce stress and therefore improve emotional stability. The results showed this hypothesis to be correct.

Subjects who participated in meditative activities experienced more emotional stability in stressful situations. This research has been repeated and expanded several times over the years.

In doing so, studies have shown that many negative emotions can be regulated through meditation.

Source: American Psychosomatic Medicine Journal

    73.)      Feeling More Fulfilled

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic investigated the impact meditation could have on employee burnout. Specifically, they were interested in discovering how different personal techniques could benefit doctors and nurses working in palliative care.

The researchers suggested if doctors improved their own personal well-being they would be better equipped to help patients. The study showed that participants using forms of personal care such as meditation were less likely to suffer burnout.

They felt more fulfilled on their career path and used their positive attitude to help their patients.

Source: Science Direct

“Participants Using Forms of Personal Care Such as Meditation Were Less Likely to Suffer Burnout”

 

    74.)      Improve Empathy and Connection; Improved Relationships

In 2005, a study investigated the effect of meditation on altruism, empathy and compassion. Each of these three traits could lead to positive benefits for individuals in their personal relationships.

It could also help them to connect on a deeper level to people around them. The study suggested that meditation could reduce self-indulgent behaviors and other negative reactions.

In doing so, meditation allows an individual to reach a higher level of altruism and empathy for fellow humans. Although research in a scientific setting for this impact is limited, there is evidence to suggest these types of benefits.

Source: Journal of Religion and Science

    75.)      Better Feeling of Well Being

It has been suggested that increased mindfulness will eventually lead to a better feeling of overall well-being. Indeed, research studies have suggested this to be the case.

One study investigated a number of different pieces of empirical evidence that support this conclusion. The study suggested that mindfulness through meditation allows individuals to create a model of well-being and increase their own self-awareness.

Due to this, they can benefit in their own lives by feeling better in themselves. Research has even shown the effects of this in patients suffering from serious physical conditions such as cancer.

Source: American Psychological Association

    76.)      Increased Feeling of Compassion

There is a wealth of research suggesting that meditation can have a positive impact on feelings such as compassion. Indeed, the study of loving-kindness meditation and compassion meditation has become more popular in recent years.

Modern studies have demonstrated that meditative techniques such as this can increase feelings of compassion. This could have widespread effects on society as a whole.

Researchers have suggested that it could be used as an intervention technique in cases of marital conflict and issues with long-term care giving.

Source: Clinical Psychology Review

    77.)      Increased Self Confidence

Recently the Dalai Lama met with a group of western counselors. He asked what the main issue was for patients that came to get help with mental problems. The almost unanimous response was self-esteem, and allegedly this shocked him.

Apparently, self-esteem is not a problem in Tibet and that is due to meditation. Indeed, according to the Dalai Lama the main benefit of meditation is the ability to shape motivation.

By shaping our motivation we are not confined by issues of self-confidence or low self-esteem. Instead, we are more free than ever before.

In the past, a number of studies have used meditation as a way to investigate confidence issues.

Source: PDXScholar, Oprah

    78.)      Reduce Phobia and Fears

One of the most common fears in the western world is the phobia of needles and the dentist. In 1983, researchers combined these two fears and investigated the effect meditation has on them.

Two dental patients were studied. One received meditative hypnosis to help conquer their fear. The other did not. The patient who received meditative hypnosis was able to conquer their fear and get the treatment needed.

They also claimed that their fear of the dentist was diminished. While the design of this study may be flawed, it does suggest the possible positive effects of meditation for patients with these types of phobias.

Source: Anesthesia Progress

    79.)      Better Mood Regulation

Through meditation patients are able to access a state of mindfulness. In this state, individuals are thought to be able to better understand themselves and others.

A 2010 research study delved into this idea further by looking at the effect of meditation on mood regulation. They suggested that mindfulness could ultimately control or even diminish negative mental processes.

One of these processes included the development of negative emotion such as anger, fear or anxiety. The results showed that these moods were regulated more effectively by participants who completed meditation techniques.

Source: Science Direct

“Results Showed That Moods Were Regulated More Effectively by Participants Who Completed Meditation Techniques”

 

    80.)      Reduced Depression

Mindfulness has been introduced as a form of cognitive therapy for patients who are suffering from depression. In particular, mindfulness has been suggested as a way to stop people who suffer from depression from sinking back into bad habits.

The researchers that presented this theory had been practicing mindfulness themselves after investigating its use by Tibetan Buddhists. During their personal exploration, they discovered that the positive emotions generated through the technique could be beneficial to those suffering from clinical depression.

To this day, many therapists still recommend mindfulness as a prescribed form of treatment.

Source: Journal of Psychotherapy Research

    81.)      Emotional Healing and Letting Go Of The Past

When one enters a state of meditation they are focused entirely on the present. They are no longer interested in problems of the future, nor feelings of the past. Therefore, meditation can help people deal with past trauma by simply letting it go.

Previous research has shown this to be effective in patients suffering from PTSD as well as other forms of trauma. Researchers have suggested that when we enter a state of meditation, we can engage in a form of healing.

We can work to heal the scars of the mind as well as the body.

Source: Wiley Online Library

    82.)      Reduced Anger and Aggressive Behavior

People suffering from chronic pain experience a wide range of negative emotions. They feel angry because there is often very little they can do to alleviate their pain or treat it.

As such, many patients with chronic pain need anger management to prevent aggressive and self-destructive behavior. James Carson presented evidence in 2005 that loving-kindness meditation could be used to encourage positive emotions in patients with chronic pain.

As such, he concluded that meditation may be an effective form of treatment for aggressive behavior.

Source: Journal of Holistic Nursing

“Meditation May be an Effective Form of Treatment for Aggressive Behavior”

 

    83.)      Increases Emotional Intelligence

In 2009, researchers ran a twofold study to investigate the impact of meditation on Emotional Intelligence (EI). Higher levels of emotional intelligence allow people to cope more effectively in stressful situations.

The first part of the study was used to examine the EI in participants who actively used meditation on a regular basis. In this study, the results showed that these participants had far higher levels of EI compared to the control group.

The researchers also investigated the impact of meditation on EI for people who had never used it before. Again, research showed improvements in stress management after participating in meditation.

Source: Science Direct

    84.)      Reduce Panic

Researchers at the University of California investigated the impact of meditation on people with anxiety disorders. In particular, they were interested in examining whether short term meditation could help reduce feelings of panic in these patients under stressful situations.

The results showed that short term meditation was beneficial for these patients. The researchers concluded that it could be an effective psychosomatic treatment of the condition.

Source: Science Direct

    85.)      Improve Quality of Life for Elderly

There have been several research studies to test the impact of meditation within the elderly population. Jose Curiati ran a research investigation in 2005 to assess how meditation could impact the quality of life for elderly patients.

Specifically, his participants were suffering from the condition of congestive heart failure. He suggested that meditation could improve their life in two ways.

First, it would allow them to reduce sympathetic activation. Second, it could have a physical impact on their condition. After a period of one year in a care teaching hospital, meditation helped elderly patients gain a better quality of life.

They felt happier, and there was even evidence to suggest their physical health improved.

Source: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

    86.)      Reduced Substance Abuse

In 2006, a study was run to investigate the effect of mindfulness and meditation on an incarcerated population. In the study, there were two groups. One received Vipassana meditation while the other received group therapy sessions.

Participants involved in the study were suffering from a number of substance abuse issues such as being addicted to cocaine. The study showed that participants in the meditation group were significantly less likely to relapse after leaving prison.

Researchers suggested that meditation may be a successful treatment for this form of addiction.

Source: American Psychological Association

“Researchers Suggested That Meditation May be a Successful Treatment for Addiction”

 

    87.)      Reduce Social Isolation

In the past research has shown that social isolation could ultimately lead to death. This problem is particularly prevalent in the elderly population where lack of social interaction causes patients to give up.

Studies have been run to investigate the effect of meditation on socializing. Specifically, loving-kindness therapy was using in a controlled laboratory setting for a brief period. Results showed participants that used this meditation were able to connect more with strangers on an explicit and implicit level.

Hutcherson and Co concluded that meditation could increase positive emotions and help reduce social isolation.

Source: American Psychological Association

    88.)      Greater Pain Tolerance

It has been suggested that meditation can lead to increased tolerance for pain. However, this has only recently been shown in a controlled setting. Participants were tested in 2007 to examine whether mindful practice improves tolerance for pain and psychological well-being.

The study tested 42 participants in a randomized design. Over the course of the study, researchers found participants in the experimental group were more tolerant of pain. It was suggested that this was due to the mindfulness training.

Researchers concluded that the promising results were evidence that mindfulness had an impact on the perception of pain. Meditation could in effect alter how we understand pain without changing how much it hurts.

Source: Journal of Psychosomatic Research

    89.)      Reduce Social Anxiety Disorder

In a study to examine the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on those with social anxiety disorder (SAD), 16 patients were given an MRI before and after a 8 week MBSR program to determine any changes in brain-behavior mechanisms.

After the patients completed the MBSR program it was shown that there was an increase in self-esteem and reduced social anxiety as well as reduced activity in the area of the brain that relates to how someone may view themselves.

Source: Ingenta

“After the Patients Completed the MBSR Program It Was Shown That There Was an Increase in Self-Esteem and Reduced Social Anxiety”

 

    90.)      Better Process Grief

Some people say that grief heals with time, but is it possible to process grief more efficiently? A recent study set out to answer that question. In this study, 39 patients volunteered to participate in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program.

Several markers were used to measure the effect of the meditation results, which include Reaction to Loss Scale for measuring grief, Beck Depression Inventory and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory.

It was found that the group that participated in the mindfulness meditation program had advanced more quickly through the initial stages of grief in comparison to the control group.

Source: Springer Link

Spiritual Benefits of Meditation

In this section we take a closer look at some of the top researched spiritual benefits of meditation.

    91.)      Deeper Understanding of Yourself and Others

Studies have shown that meditation could impact our level of self-awareness and how we perceive others. Several studies have been run to show that loving-kindness meditation actually changes the way we perceive others by boosting feelings of compassion and altruism.

But research also suggests meditation can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves due to a physical impact on the brain. A study was run in 2005 to investigate whether meditation could change the cortical thickness within the brain.

This study was a success with patients who used meditation experienced noticeable levels of improvement. It was concluded that this could lead to these participants having a deeper understanding of themselves as well as a reduced cognitive decline.

Source: US National Library of Medicine

    92.)      Increased Wisdom

It has been suggested that meditation could have a direct impact on levels of intelligence. Indeed, research in 2005 suggested that Buddhists in Tibet had changed the functions of their brain by strengthening the level of gamma brain waves.

These electrical charges are crucial for the functions of the brain and boosting them could have a direct impact on intelligence. But what about wisdom?

Research has also suggested a meditative state of mind allows for thoughts to be clearer and for participants to perceive the world differently.

In doing so, they could ultimately become wiser. Jean L Kirsteller suggested this possibility in a 2003 research report.

Source: Meta-Nexus

“Research Has Suggested a Meditative State of Mind Allows for Thoughts to be Clearer and for Participants to Perceive the World Differently”

 

    93.)      Increased Level of Self-Acceptance

Carson and Lander presented research on mindfulness increasing self-acceptance in 2005. Based on empirical evidence spanning decades, the researchers suggested mindfulness would lead to a clearer understanding of an individual’s environment.

Due to this, participants would learn to accept and adapt to the world in which they live. The researchers suggested there were significant advantages for mindfulness in this situation compared with mindlessness.

Researchers also concluded that through meditation this self-acceptance could lead to a better understanding of the self.

Source: Springer Link

    94.)      Increase and Develop Intuition

Buddhist monks have been suggesting for years that meditation can help individuals increase and develop intuition. However, it is only recently that science and researchers have fully embraced this idea.

In 2010 Raffone and Srinivasan began to investigate the impact of meditation on attention and consciousness. They suggested that through meditation, participants were able to reach a deeper level of intuition.

They referred to this as intuitive awareness and suggested that it may only be possible through deep meditation. They based this possibility on previous research studies that had investigated the cognitive awareness of Tibetan Buddhists.

Source: Journal of Cognitive Processing

    95.)      Peace of Mind

There have been plenty of claims that meditation can increase well-being in individuals. In 2015, Sonal Parmar investigated the impact of meditation on what he classified as a piece of mind.

Parmar suggested that based on previous research meditation should allow participants to feel more relaxed. As a result, they would be less worried about occurrences in life.

He suggested this was due to meditation showing that your own attitude determines your happiness. Palmer’s results were significant and he ultimately suggested six to seven minutes of meditation a day could improve peace of mind.

Source: The International Journal of Indian Psychology

“Six to Seven Minutes of Meditation a Day Could Improve Peace of Mind”

 

    96.)      Increases Self Awareness and Sense of Inner Self

The previous study also demonstrated how meditation can lead to increased self-awareness and a sense of the inner self. As noted, Parmar hypothesized that meditation led to a deeper understanding of the inner self.

He also theorized that this would ultimately lead to increased feelings of self-worth due to a deeper awareness. Palmer suggested this would start with physical changes through the body due to relaxing techniques such as yoga.

However, he concluded that meditation relaxes the mind as well and it is this state of relaxation that improves self-awareness.

Source: The International Journal of Indian Psychology

    97.)      Helps To Discover Deeper Purpose in Life

Researcher Shinzen Young analyzed how Vipassana Meditation could lead individuals towards understanding their purpose in life. The researcher suggested that through this form of meditation individuals were able to obtain clarity and purity of thought.

By becoming more aware of negative emotions, participants are able to achieve equanimity and reach a deeper sense of purpose. This form of pre-conscious processing ultimately leads to participants feeling more self-empowered and aware of their role in the world.

Young presented his findings as a personal discovery of this particular form of meditation. He went on to suggest that any form of meditation could have a beneficial effect on the human psyche.

Source: The Humanistic Psychologist

    98.)      Experience Oneness with Everything

Skeptic, Susan Blackmore investigated the full effects of transcendental meditation in 1991. She was fascinated by the suggestions that this form of meditation could lead to incredible, wide-reaching effects.

She referenced the idea of reverse aging, improved relationships, and world peace to name but a few. It was through her study of meditation that she uncovered the truth behind the therapeutic method. By the end of her research, Blackmore suggested that there was a deeper level of understanding reachable through meditation.

She suggested that this connection with the world was exactly what some people could achieve through meditation. Although she disputed the physical impact, there was clear evidence for an emotional change.

Source: Philosophical Research Online

“A Deeper Level of Understanding is Reachable Through Meditation”

 

    99.)      Learning To Be Centered and Live In Present Moment

Being centered relates to knowing one’s place in the world. By living in the present moment, we are able to better understand how society operates and how we can benefit those around us.

Indeed, it has been suggested that the state of meditation helps individuals forget the past and avoid thinking about the future. Instead, during meditation individuals are completely centered in the present.

The psychological benefit of this has been investigated through its use by researchers. A quantitative study in 2010 investigated the impact of this form of meditation on the work of therapists.

The researcher concluded that this form of meditation could increase empathic feelings towards patients leading to a better quality of care.

Source: American Psychological Association

    100.)      Increase Capacity for Love

Contemporary psychology has often said to be fascinated by the concept of meditation. In particular the notion that loving kindness meditation could have a beneficial effect by producing positive emotion.

However, this has rarely been investigated in a controlled environmental setting. In 2010, researchers lead by Doug Oman investigated whether meditation could increase feelings of love in hospital staff.

The results were significant suggesting that an 8-week meditation program had a positive impact on the hospital staff. Ogman suggested that this could have more widespread implications for society on the power of meditation.

Source: Journal of Mental Health, Religion & Culture

 

    101.)      Increase Ability to Forgive

The same study by Oman included a number of parameters to assess the impact of meditation on feelings of love. One parameter was the examination of the ability to forgive. Oman found that increased feelings of forgiveness were significantly correlated with meditation.

Participants who received meditative training found it easier to forgive other individuals of wrongdoing. This isn’t surprising due to what happens when you enter a state of meditation.

According to supporters, you can let go of feelings of the past as they become inconsequential.

Source: Journal of Mental Health, Religion & Culture

“Participants Who Received Meditative Training Found it Easier to Forgive Other Individuals”

 

    102.)      Harmonize Mind, Body & Spirit

Supporters of TM have suggested that it harmonizes the mind, body, and spirit. The impact of this harmonization can be far reaching, as seen in a 2002 study.

Researchers investigated the impact of mind-body and spirit training on patients with breast cancer. They compared patients who received mind body and spirit meditative training with a typical cognitive therapy group.

The results showed that there were fewer dropouts and more positive feeling in the MBS group. The researchers concluded this demonstrated the positive impact of this concept for patients suffering from life changing medical conditions.

Source: General Hospital Psychiatry

    103.)      Increase Self-Actualization

In the early 1970s, researchers began to investigate the impact of meditation on self-actualization. The first study only involved fifteen participants, and the findings were mixed.

TM did not seem to impact self-actualization at first. However, a second study showed significant changes in eight different parameters.

Since then, this study has been repeated with bigger samples. Researchers have noted that meditation does seem to have an impact on self-actualization. Participants were able to better understand their own talents and abilities after participating in meditation.

Source: American Psychological Association

    104.)      Purifies Character

Many people believe that through meditation individuals can ultimately purify their own character. Research has been able to support this claim in the past.

Fabio Campanella led a study to investigate the impact of mindfulness on self-character scales. He found that participants who engaged in meditation boosted their character on scales such as self-directedness and cooperativeness.

The most interesting finding was that results were only significant when meditation was used over long periods of time. Brief meditation had little impact on this particular trait.

The findings suggested that meditation could be used to lower the risk of personality disorders developing in individuals. This is because a lower understanding of the self is positively correlated with this type of development.

Source: Science Direct

   105.)   Helps Bring Unconscious to Conscious

Since the days of Freud, it has been suggested that unconscious thoughts could be brought forward to the conscious mind through meditation.

Freud himself famously brought his patients to a state of relaxation to unlock their hidden desires. Science suggests that typically our brain is running in a beta pattern. We are alert, but we are also more likely to succumb to stress and other psychological issues.

As you continue to meditate over time, you begin to move away from these issues into a deeper understanding of the self. It is this deepening that allows us to see that which is under the surface of our regular conscious awareness.

Source: ResearchGate

“As You Continue to Meditate Over Time, You Begin To Move Into a Deeper Understanding of the Self”

 

   106.)   Access Higher Levels of Consciousness

Goleman investigated that the idea that meditation could lead this to higher levels of consciousness in 1976. He did this by analyzing the spiritual belief of Abhidhamma.

Abhidhamma is a deep understanding of consciousness that suggest positive emotions can eradicate negative thoughts in the brain. Goleman investigated the effect that this could have on consciousness.

He suggested that if the Abhidhamma understanding of consciousness was correct, meditation could be used to achieve a deeper understanding.

Modern research has investigated this idea directly and discovered both mental and physical effects of meditation on the brain.

Source: Europe PMC

   107.)   Improved Ability to Manifest Your Heart’s Desire

Part of the challenge of manifesting our hearts desire is first knowing on a deeper level what our true desires are and not getting that confused with the fleeting surface level desires of the mind.

Since meditation involves allowing the activity of the mind to slow down while also observing that activity, it allows us to get to know ourselves on a deeper level and have a better understanding of who we are as well as what will have the most authentic impact on our happiness. Some may call that inner wisdom or discernment.

While there may not be studies specifically on manifesting your hearts desire, there is plenty of research showing an increase in self-awareness and sense of self as well as deepening our access to the unconscious mind.

Therefore, it’s not much of a reach to say that when we get to know ourselves better through regular meditation we will begin to know our hearts desire and knowing that is the first step to manifesting it.

Source: ResearchGate

   108.)   Acceptance of Life, Death & Impermanence

Grief due to death is one of the most difficult experiences for humans to handle. It is also something that we will all need to deal with at one point or another.

Indeed, in the past researchers have suggested a number of techniques that people use to handle their own mortality. Many have suggested this is the reason why people put their faith in different religions without any actual empirical evidence.

Recent research has investigated how meditation can help through the process of grieving. A 2008 study by David Sagula and Kenneth Rice investigated the impact of meditation on grief for chronic patients.

They found that meditation helped participants cope with early stages of grief and reduced signs of depression.

However, they also discovered it had no impact on the final stages when compared with the control group.

Source: Springer Link

Conclusion: Bringing It All Together

 

There’s a great amount of research available that shows the many of the benefits of meditation, even more than what has been shared in this article. As any new significant research on meditation comes available I will update this article accordingly.

This article isn’t meant to show meditation as being a magic bullet for everything, but to show how much influence that meditation has on affecting these various parts of our lives and the many benefits that are possible.

Even still, it seems pretty clear that there’s a lot to gain from doing meditation and not much to lose. Keep in mind that the more regularly you meditate the bigger impact it will have on your life and the more results you will see.

There are many styles of meditation to choose from. If you find that you don’t resonate with one style, maybe give another style a try to see if its a better fit for you.

So, if you made it this far, what did you think? Do you meditate on a regular basis? Have you tried meditation before? If so, what is/was your experience?

Please feel free to leave any comments in the comments section below.

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