Benefits of meditation supported by science
If you have ever been interested in the meditation , you will have realized that it is a practice whose fruits are not collected overnight. Meditation requires months of practice, perseverance and, although it is apparently not 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 proclamations, it is not surprising that some abandon after the first days of practice, exhausted and unmotivated by the apparent lack of immediate incentives.
However, among the oceans of opinions and value judgments about meditation you can also find some scientific publications that serve to shed light on the issue that everyone wants to know: what are the benefits of meditation that have a scientific basis?
Some benefits of meditation that probably exist
Although meditation has been engendered in a philosophy and culture far from Western rationalism, there are some studies that show possible effects of meditation, probably because of its possible therapeutic application at very low prices. Below you will find some of these possible benefits of meditation that are supported by science research groups.
However, it must be taken into account that these scientific articles they serve to describe correlations and give them an interpretation, although we do not know very well how changes in our body occur through these centenary practices.
1. Mitigate the effects of stress
Some research indicates that the continued practice of meditation helps combat stress and its adverse effects. For example, an investigation involving cancer patients yielded data on an improvement not only in relation to stress, but also in terms of symptoms of depression, confusion and other scales, in both men and women.
2. It could have positive effects on the immune system
It has been proven how a series of volunteers undergoing a Mindfulness program developed more antibodies to the flu, which means that one of the benefits of meditation can have an impact on the immune system. The article was published in Psychosomatic Medicine.
3. Improve the attention capacity
It has been proven in multitasking tests (doing several things at once) and in a study about the attentional blink, which occurs when a stimulus is eclipsed by another one that precedes it with little margin of time between them and therefore the individual only he realizes the first one. People who had been meditating showed a reduction in the attentional blink, which means that they learned to better manage the brain resources on which care depends.
4. It is useful to empathize and connect with others
Another of the likely benefits of meditation lies in the relationship with others. A few minutes of meditation have been effective in predisposing to closer personal contact with strangers.
5. Increase tolerance to pain
Four days of Mindfulness have been shown sufficient to reduce pain sensation and produce changes in brain structures associated with pain processing.
6. Improves memory and other cognitive functions
A few sessions of Mindfulness can be translated into an improvement of working memory and visuospatial processing.
7. Power the emergence of positive thoughts
Among the benefits of meditation could not be missing one that concerns positive psychology, one of the currents that most uses relaxation practices. A certain type of meditation has been shown to be helpful in keeping adaptive beliefs at bay, maintaining habits with significant meaning and, in general, thinking positively.