Everyone knows that stress can have negative effects on the body and brain. While it is sometimes possible to eliminate the source of stress, often that is not a viable option. Some stress is unavoidable in day-to-day life. The key is therefore to manage stress. And meditation is one of the most effective ways of doing so.
It helps us to put aside the distractions of modern life and give the brain time to relax and recuperate. Focusing on taking slower and deeper breaths is very calming and allows one to shed negative thoughts and emotions. Medical studies provide overwhelming evidence of the benefits. Zollars, Irene et al. (2019) found that just 10 minutes meditation four days a week resulted in improved mental well-being and lower perceived stress.
Meditation is helpful, not only in managing stress but also in treating anxiety and depression. Saeed, Sy Atezaz et al. (2019) found that meditation had positive effects on depression and that its effects can last for six months or more. It’s clear that the benefits of meditating extend beyond just the time spent practicing and can be long-lasting, reducing sensitivity to external stressors.
The deep breathing used in meditation can also improve pulmonary function and respiratory muscle strength. (Lu, Yu Fan et al, 2020) What’s more, meditation can be combined with Yoga to amplify its mental and physical benefits. Together they are a powerful duo that can be used to significantly raise overall quality-of-life.
Zollars, Irene et al. “Effects of mindfulness meditation on mindfulness, mental well-being, and perceived stress.” Currents in pharmacy teaching & learning vol. 11,10 (2019): 1022-1028. doi:10.1016/j.cptl.2019.06.005
Saeed, Sy Atezaz et al. “Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Benefits of Exercise, Yoga, and Meditation.” American family physician vol. 99,10 (2019): 620-627.
Source: Lu, Yufan et al. “Effects of Home-Based Breathing Exercises in Subjects With COPD.” Respiratory care vol. 65,3 (2020): 377-387. doi:10.4187/respcare.07121