What is meditation?
Mayo Clinic1 describes meditation as the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. Known as a type of mind-body complementary medicine, meditation can help you feel more relaxed and tranquil, says Mayo Clinic.2 Meditation can help you focus your attention and get rid of scattered thoughts that could be causing you stress.
Here are a few types of meditation styles to explore, suggests Everyday Health3:
- Mindfulness meditation: You observe thoughts and emotions, but don’t judge them.
- Transcendental meditation: A word, sound or small phrase is repeated in a specific way.
- Guided meditation: This style focuses on forming pictures or situations that could help you relax.
- Vipassana meditation: The goal of this meditation is to see things for how they are.
- Loving Kindness meditation: With this practice, you recite words and phrases to evoke sincere-hearted feelings toward yourself and others.
How meditation can boost your health
Now that you know a little bit more about meditation, here’s how it can improve your health, according to Healthline4:
- Cut back on stress: When practicing mindfulness meditation, participants in an eight-week study were able to reduce the inflammation response caused by stress.
- Cope better with anxiety: A study showed that people who did eight weeks of mindfulness meditation were able to help reduce their anxiety symptoms, increase positive self-statements and improve stress levels and coping.
- Boost emotional health: One review of treatments given to more than 3,500 adults found that mindfulness meditation improved their symptoms of depression.
- Extends attention span: One study showed that meditating for just 13 minutes each day enhanced a person’s attention and memory after eight weeks.
- Keep your mind young: In older volunteers, a review found evidence that multiple meditation styles can increase attention, memory and mental quickness.
- Deal with addiction: One study showed that for people receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder and who were practicing transcendental meditation, they had lower levels of stress, psychological distress and alcohol cravings.