When people think of meditation, they often think of Buddhist Monks or Indian Gurus. Meditation indeed had its beginnings in religion; however, in the late ’70s, John Kabot-Zinn introduced the concept of mindfulness activities to help reduce stress. One of the mindfulness techniques Professor Kabot-Zinn introduced was mindful meditation. Meditation allows your brain to enter a calm state, which carries a lot of benefits.
Improved Concentration and Focus
When your mind is calm, you can think and focus more clearly. Studies have indicated that meditation can keep your mind from wandering, and it can also improve memory. Focus can help you do better at work or school.
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health diagnoses. Anxiety is rooted in stress. By practicing meditation, along with your treatment process, you can help relieve anxiety. Studies show that eight weeks of practicing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) significantly reduced anxiety.
Helps Kids in School
The benefits of a calm mind are not limited to adults. Children can also benefit from doing meditation. Some school districts nationwide have started implementing meditation at high-risk schools to improve behavior and increase grades. Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation helps facilitate changes in at-risk behavior and even helps kids be more empathetic to their classmates.
Changes the Brain
Another proven benefit of meditation is that it changes essential areas of the brain. A Harvard University study found that after just eight weeks of MBSR, the hippocampus increased. This part of the brain is responsible for learning and memory. It also benefited areas of the brain that regulated emotion. The amygdala, which is responsible for stress, was reduced in size, creating a calmer mind state.
Meditating to achieve a calmer mind offers a host of benefits. Although its origins started with religion, meditation has become a proven way to help reduce stress and change your mindset.