The 7 benefits of meditation backed by science
Jul 16, 2021
If you have ever been interested in meditationYou may have realized that it is a practice whose fruits are not reaped overnight. Meditating takes months of practice, perseverance, and as much as it may not seem physically demanding, it also requires effort.
If we add to this the fact that the supposed benefits of meditation are not always well supported empirically and sometimes consist of simple New Age proclamationsIt is not surprising that some drop out after the first days of practice, exhausted and unmotivated by the apparent lack of immediate incentives.
Yet amid the oceans of opinions and value judgments on meditation you can also find some scientific publications They serve to shed light on the issue everyone wants to know: what are the scientifically based benefits of meditation?
Some benefits of meditation that probably exist
Despite the fact that meditation has been engendered in a philosophy and culture far from rationalism Western, yes there are some studies in which possible effects of meditation are shown, surely due to its possible
However, it must be borne in mind that these scientific articles serve to describe correlations and give them an interpretation, although it is not very well known how changes are produced in our body through these centuries-old practices.
1. Mitigate the effects of stress
Some research indicates that continued meditation practice helps combat stress and its adverse effects. For example, an investigation in which cancer patients participated yielded data on an improvement not only in relation to stress, but also in terms of symptoms of depression, confusion and other scales, both in men and women.
2. Could have positive effects on the immune system
It has been verified how a series of volunteers subjected to a program of Mindfulness developed more antibodies to the flu, which means that one of the benefits of meditation can affect the immune system. The article was published in Psychosomatic Medicine.
3. Improves attention span
It has been verified in multitasking tests (do several things at the same time) and in A study on the attentional blink, which occurs when a stimulus is overshadowed by another that precedes it with a short time margin between them and therefore the individual is only aware of the first. People who had been meditating showed a reduction in attentional blink, which means that they learned to better manage the brain resources on which attention depends.
4. It is useful to empathize and connect with others
Another of the probable benefits of meditation is in the relationship with others. A few minutes of meditation they have been effective at the time of predisposing to a closer personal contact with strangers.
5. Increases tolerance to pain
Four days of Mindfulness enough have been shown to reduce the sensation of pain and produce changes in brain structures associated with pain processing.
6. Improves memory and other cognitive functions
A few Mindfulness sessions can be translated in an improvement of working memory and visuospatial processing.
7. Enhances the appearance of positive thoughts
Among the benefits of meditation could not miss one that concerns positive psychology, one of the currents that uses relaxation practices the most. A certain type of meditation It has been shown Helps to keep maladaptive beliefs at bay, maintain meaningful habits, and generally think positively.
- DeRose, Teacher (1995). Advanced Yôga, Swásthya Yôga Shástra. Buenos Aires: Deva’s de Longseller.
- Jung, Carl Gustav (2008). Complete work: Volume 11. About the psychology of Western religion and Eastern religion. XIV. On the psychology of eastern meditation (1943/1948). Madrid: Trotta.