It’s no secret that we’re big fans of meditation here at Mala and Mantra. After all, mala beads traditionally were (and still are) used as tools to focus the mind and keep count of mantra recitation during meditation.
And while we all know the basic benefits of maintaining a regular meditation practice—it calms the mind, lowers stress and improves sleep, just to name a few—there’s an almost endless list of ways that meditation can improve your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Here are just 17 of our favorites:
It’s a great solution for reducing stress and general levels of anxiety. That’s because a regular meditation practice shrinks the grey-matter areas in your brain that are related to stress and anxiety. It also helps you to more fully live in the moment, reducing the chance that you’ll get stuck in a cycle of worrying about one stress trigger in particular.
Not only does it lower your actual amount of stress, but in turn, meditation can improve symptoms associated with stress-related illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD and fibromyalgia.
Meditation improves your ability to focus, increases your attention span and makes you more capable of thriving in stressful situations.
Research also shows that meditation can possibly offset the loss of cognitive abilities as you age.
Meditation can lower your chances of developing depression, or decrease the severity of your symptoms if you already have it. More specifically, it helps eliminate the ruminative thinking and dysfunctional beliefs that can trigger or worsen depression.
It also helps to regulate mood and anxiety disorders by reducing symptoms like phobias, social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.
Meditation can improve your ability to easily process information, enhance your decision-making skills and strengthen your ability to form memories.
It increases your levels of resilience and boosts your emotional intelligence.
Practicing meditation can help lower your perception of pain, making it a useful alternative to prescription or over-the-counter medicines in some situations.
It improves your self-image, feelings of self-worth and positive outlook on life.
Meditation enhances self-awareness and helps you grow into your best self. It gives you greater awareness of your thoughts and helps to steer them in a more useful direction.
It increases your compassion, empathy and positive feelings toward yourself and others, particularly when practicing loving-kindness meditation (aka Metta meditation).
It can improve your sleep quality by helping you fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer. It also helps control a racing mind—a common symptom of those who suffer from insomnia.
Regular mediation can lower your blood pressure, which improves your overall heart health and lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke.
It decreases inflammation and strengthens your immune system, helping you fight off common illnesses like the cold or flu.
Meditation increases your ability to multitask, be creative and think outside the box.
And lastly, it helps to regulate your emotions, boosts your happiness and improves your overall well-being.