31 Proven Benefits Of Meditation When You Make It Your New Habit

By Kenny Lee | Meditation

Sep 17

The benefits of meditation go beyond cultural myths.

When I first started meditating almost two decades go, I thought it was cool for a young teenager sitting in a half lotus posture contemplating about the meaning of life (except it has nothing to do with contemplation and I almost fell asleep most of the time). Which is why I still prefer walking meditation to precede the sitting session.

But what amazes me today is to see the widespread practice of meditation across ages and gender. You probably know by now that meditation is effective in managing stress or you had read something about it. In fact, this article by Johns Hopkins Medicine noted that 30 minutes of daily meditation may improve symptoms of stress and anxiety. (But I suspect there’s more than that)

RECOMMENDED : Mindful Eating For Weight Loss

Meditation, a practice common in the East has spread and gain popularity in the West for the past 30 years. With meditation going online in the form of  Headspace and Master Your Mind, I thought there must be more reasons on why meditation has appealed to the younger generation. So I’ve got the search engine busy. The results that I found amazes me.

Here are the proven benefits of meditation:

Productivity

31 Proven Benefits Of Meditation

I’m not sure if meditation could make you rich or turn you into a star employee but it definitely helps. Here’s how.

1. Meditation sharpens your attention

This is what I can testify first hand. With continuous mindfulness meditation practice for more than 6 months, I found my attention span increases and it truly helps my study in my college days. In fact, this article from LiveScience states that meditation could possibly be use to treat conditions such as ADHD.

2. Meditation improves your ability to multitask

Try not to multitask if you can. It’s not healthy for your brain really. But if you have to, consider practicing mindfulness meditation, as it decreases negative emotions normally associated with multitasking and also resulted in less fragmented work.

3. Meditation improves your memory

If you often get into trouble because you forgot about your next appointments or where you placed your files, meditation may be what you are looking for to improve your memory. This study showed how students who practice mindfulness meditation improve their scores in their exams.

4. Meditation improves your creativity

According to this article by ScienceDaily, different methods of meditation have various results on creativity. It names “open monitoring meditation” as the meditation technique that resulted in the most improvement in terms of creativity. A further read up on “open monitoring” shows that it is in fact, mindfulness meditation.

5. Meditation improves your will power

The key to success is often associated with perseverance. It’s going through failures after failures without losing the enthusiasm. You need a very strong will power for that. This EocInstitute article cited that study shows that an area of the brain associated with willpower is active during meditation.

6. Meditation enhances your logical thinking

If you are often swayed by emotion when making critical decisions, then consider meditation as a practice that cultivates logical thinking. The practice of meditation actually stimulates alpha brain waves that enhance your logical thinking.

7. Meditation increases your (brain) speed

Yes. If you are going for a higher processing power for your workload, try meditation but this doesn’t happen overnight. A study by UCLA shows that meditation may speed up brain processing but this requires years of practice consistently.

Happiness

31 Proven Benefits Of Meditation

Some people said that happiness is your own responsibility. You thought it sounds right until you actually need to be happy and then it’s a struggle. Meditation can teach you how.

8. Meditation makes you happier

In my post How To Let Go Of The Anger, I mentioned about watching our anger without being attached to it. In meditation, you tune your consciousness in a way that’s not possible when you’re going by the motion, according to this article.

9. Meditation makes you more relaxed

This is probably why so many people look to incorporate meditation into their lifestyle. While meditation does indeed help you relax, it is important not to expect the same result for every session. In fact, having expectation could get you stuck in your meditation practice.

10. Meditation decreases depression

I know how bad depression can be. Black, empty and bottomless may describe those who suffered from this complicated situation. Mindfulness meditation has been used with equal effectiveness as anti-depressant drugs in treating depression, a study by Oxford University showed.

11. Meditation decreases stress

We all wanted to leave our work stress at our workplace. But we always manage to drag a few problems back and turn our home into a stress zone. Mindfulness meditation has grown popular as one effective stress buster technique.

12. Meditation decreases anxiety

You get anxious when you are worrying about countless possibilities and problems that may never happen. Meditation doesn’t zap off your anxiety just like that. Instead, it trains you to be in the present. Because most solutions are found in the here and now.

13. Meditation makes you positive

Are you seeing solutions in every problems or vice versa? Regular meditation practice brings awareness to your thoughts. It changes your perception and turns your mindset into a positive one.

RECOMMENDED : Does Meditation Reduce Stress?

Health

31 Proven Benefits Of Meditation

People are being more aware of living a healthy lifestyle. With yoga, a practice that originates from India and now made popular in major cities, meditation is also following the footstep as one of the important element of a healthy lifestyle.

14. Meditation increases immune function

Less antibiotic? That’s probably a good reason to start meditating. According to this study, meditators are found to have increased in antibody titers to influenza vaccine. It indicates meditation may bring a positive change to the immune system.

15. Meditation decreases pain

The same as being detached from anger, mindfulness practice allows a meditator to observe pain without being attached to it. In this study, meditator reported a 27% reduction in pain intensity after being heated by a Thermo probe.

16. Meditation decreases inflammation at the cellular level

If you wonder what is this all about (I did), mindfulness meditation reduces the chances of inflammatory diseases as such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, according to a Carnegie Mellon University study.

17. Meditation lowers blood pressure

If you are working in a high-stress environment or have a quick temper, beware of high blood pressure, one of the silent killers.  Mindfulness practice has been proved effective to keep it under control.

18. Meditation promotes weight loss

This would get many women (and men too) to start meditating. This is a result of bringing the habit cultivated into meditation to your daily life. I’ve written an extensive post here. Still, this doesn’t mean you can cancel your gym membership right now.

19. Meditation fights insomnia

Dalai Lama said, “Sleep is the best meditation”. With all due respect, I humbly disagree. When your mind is in a mess, sleep is hard to come and even if it does, you won’t get any quality sleep. Here’s one of my post on how meditation could help.

Brain

31 Proven Benefits Of Meditation

Our brain is perhaps one of the most complicated organs in our body. Despite that, studies have shown that continuous meditation practice leads to a better change in our brain structure.

20. Meditation increases gray matter

If you’re not familiar with the gray matter (I’m not), it’s actually the darker tissues in the brain. And people who meditate frequently will see an increase of gray matter in the hippocampus, an area associated with learning and memory. Find out more in this article.

21. Meditation decreases amygdala size

In short, it reduces your anxiety and fear by reducing the part associated with it.

22. Meditation increases cortical thickness

In a study among 20 participants, meditation is found to increase cortical thickness in regions that are associated with attention and sensory processing. Check out the images from the study here.

23. Meditation helps with addiction

Psychotherapist Ronald Alexander, Ph.D., uses meditation as one of the methods to help patients overcoming their drug addiction.  He even mentioned in his article that mindfulness meditation can create new neural networks, opening possibilities for character change and learning, something deemed almost impossible after childhood.

24. Meditation preserves aging brain

Anti-aging brought to a whole new level. A study from UCLA shows, older meditators shown a reduced volume loss of gray matter compared to non-meditators of the same group. More reason to start meditating now.

RECOMMENDED : How To Stop Being Negative

Social

31 Proven Benefits Of Meditation

People who practice meditation are sometimes viewed as reclusive, loner or anti-social. This is all but a misguided perception. In fact, studies showed the exact opposite.

25. Meditation decreases loneliness

Loneliness is more than emotions alone. It increases the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer and even depression especially among people of older age. This UCLA study shows that those who practices mindfulness meditation are more attentive to the present and dwell less on the past thus reduces the feeling of loneliness.

26. Meditation promotes better love life

When you meditate frequently, you become more aware of your own emotions and those of your partner. A research conducted shows that people who meditate shows lesser negative emotion on their face when interacting with their partners, compared to those who didn’t.

27. Meditation increases social connection

There’s a specific meditation style that does this best. The loving kindness meditation. Often practiced as a complement to mindfulness meditation, the loving kindness meditation is good, especially for anger management. A research has also shown that meditation may help to increase positive social emotion.

28. Meditation increases compassion

The world would be a better place if there are more compassion instead of hatred. David DeSteno, Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University has tested out that meditator displays more compassion compared to non-meditators.

29. Meditation reduces social anxiety

If you’re frequently beating yourself up and constantly feel threatened by others, then you probably have social anxiety disorder. Practicing meditation can change the way you view yourself to a more positive note. Here’s a study conducted on this topic.

30. Meditation gives a deeper connection to yourself.

This is no stranger to people who meditate frequently. When you practice being aware of your thoughts and feeling instead of mindlessly distracted by every single disturbance, you naturally forge a better connection with yourself.

31. Meditation increases self-confidence

Self-confidence is attractive. The thing with your mind is that it blasts us with a flurry of self-criticism and you believe that. With mindfulness practice, you are aware that these are passing thoughts and you do not hold on to them. Here’s what Andy Puddicombe of Headspace has to say.

Compiling this lengthy list of 31 Proven Benefits Of Meditation takes around 3 hours of furiously checking on the search engine, sorting, keeping track and writing. (Not to mention hunting for some interesting pictures). Meditation only takes 10 minutes a day to start.

If you are thinking to pick up meditation and you can’t find a local meditation guru, check out my review of Master Your Mind here. It’s one of the latest and growing online meditation course that has attracted working professionals.

Will you start practicing meditation if you have not? If you’ve been practicing, do share with us the benefits you have reaped from practicing meditation. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

You may also like these :
How To Stop Being Negative
How To Learn Meditation Online
Does Meditation Reduce Stress?

About the Author

I struggled with social anxiety for at least 15 years, without really knowing what I was going through. Eventually, I defeated my social phobia and conquered the fear of public speaking.

Leave a Comment:

(22) comments

Mike September 17, 2016

The benefits of meditation are indeed manifold. In our hectic, fast-paced culture, just sitting and being in a prayerful or appreciative state of mind works wonders. I especially value the effect that meditation has on lowering blood pressure naturally. This is a huge health issue in western countries. Kudos on a timely and well-written article.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 18, 2016

    Hi Mike,

    I believe hypertension is an issue not only in the West but the East too. Meditation is good way to counter the problem but it requires consistent practice.

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Michel September 17, 2016

I am sure after reading all the benefits one can gain from meditation, there are going to be a lot of new people trying this out.

I was surprised to see how many benefits there are for this practice. I knew about stress release and more mindful living but was not aware of all the others.

I think I must give this meditation thing a go again.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 18, 2016

    Hi Michel,

    Trust me, I’m as surprised as you are when I’m compiling the list. Especially the part on preserving aging brain. Do take up meditation again if you haven’t. It takes time and patience for the good things to build up.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Garis September 17, 2016

It seems meditating has many benefits both physically and mentally. In regards to whether or not I do is a good question. It’s definitely something I should look into doing it every morning before I start getting ready for the day. If meditating is this good for you why not commit some time to it? Thank you for the helpful post!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 18, 2016

    Hi Garis,

    I highly recommend that you try it out 5-10 minutes in the morning and before you sleep. Feel free to grab a copy of mindfulness meditation for beginner. Just subscribe and you’ll get access to it.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Chiqui September 17, 2016

Wow those are a lot of benefits to meditation! I knew about reducing stress and making myself more mindful, but a lot of these are new to me, such as it helping with addiction and decreasing pain. I’ve been trying to practice meditation and putting it into my life more often. I’ve seen somewhere before that simply breathing and being mindful of your breath can be considered meditation; what are your thoughts on that?

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 18, 2016

    Hi Chiqui,

    Believe me, I’m surprised as well when compiling this list. Preserving an aging brain is something I wouldn’t thought of.

    Being mindful is a key component of meditation. But in proper meditation practice, we are also taught of how to deal with the wandering mind or other sensations and thoughts that occur.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Kevin Bulmer September 17, 2016

Kenny, what a wonderful post! I began the practice of meditation a few years ago, even just a few minutes a day, as many days as I could, and I am ASTOUNDED at the difference in my health, mindset, attitude, productivity and overall sense of fulfillment.

I recently shared this with my son, who has also taken it up. He told me that he is amazed that he can create, “A happy zone” just by sitting still. It’s amazing to see.

You’re going to help a lot of people with this. Keep it up!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 18, 2016

    Hi Kevin,

    It’s good to know that you have benefited from the practice of meditation and you have introduced it to your son. It does give you a better connection to yourself and thus a more peaceful presence.

    Keep it up.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Cole September 17, 2016

Meditation is such an underutilized way to calm our minds and relieve stress. Stress is a killer! I have meditated in the past (took a vipassana course) and it was incredible not only for my mood but also for my concentration and overall sense of well being. Also, lower blood pressure! Thank you for providing such an informative and selfless resource!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 18, 2016

    Hi Cole,

    It’s great to know how meditation help you managed your stress and also your blood pressure. It takes consistent practice to have such results.

    Are you still practicing?

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Alex September 17, 2016

Hi Kenny,

Thank you for such a nice post.
I have a lot of stress at work, and I´m a very nervous people, so meditation might be great for me.

Because of this stress, I have arrhythmia, and I take drugs for it.
I have thought doing meditation but I never did.

Now I´m determined to try it. You recommend 10 minutes a day to start, right?

Do you have any post about how to start meditation?

Thanks
Alex

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 18, 2016

    Hi Alex,

    For beginners I would recommend you to check out this post here.

    http://makemindpowerful.com/how-to-clear-your-mind

    I wrote on a simple walking relaxation technique derived from the mindful walking meditation practice.

    You can also subscribe and get a copy of mindfulness siting meditation guide, a practice I learned from experienced teacher 17 years ago.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Brandon September 17, 2016

Hi Kenny, I always knew meditation was beneficial but I had no idea it had THIS many benefits :O I really like how it increases your will power though, that’s something many people lack these days and should be pursued my a lot more people.

The one that really caught me eye though was the ‘overcoming addiction’, like why aren’t they teaching addicted people this stuff to help them with their problem?

This post is definitely an eye-opener and I know you’re going to help hundreds, if not thousands of people with it.

Kind regards,
Brandon

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 18, 2016

    Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. The growth of meditation, especially mindful meditation from the East to West has been tremendous in the past 30 years. It has gone beyond the perception that meditation is about religion and culture. I think eventually it will be used as part of rehabilitation programs. I know that it has been recommended by therapists for stress management.

    Thanks for reading,
    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Lawrence September 20, 2016

Hey Kenny =)

I know how much you mention meditation on your site and I am not surprised why.

I enjoyed reading through your list and learnt some new things which I didn’t know before.

It was just affirming to me why I do meditation in the first place

Thank you =)

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 20, 2016

    Hi Lawrence,

    Thanks for checking out the list. I’m also surprised by some of the benefits when I’m compiling it. I’m thinking of having more meditation resources at my site here. WHat do you think?

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Dave September 20, 2016

So many benefits to meditation I never knew about, where do I sign up? :-))
Like you, many years ago I tried it and kept falling asleep. I am particularly interested in walking meditation.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 21, 2016

    Hi Dave,

    I’m working on a walking meditation guide. Join my mailing list and you’ll be notified.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Soby November 19, 2017

Beautiful article – informative, structured, clear and to the point. Love it! I practice meditation daily (well, trying to do it daily), but I didn’t even realize that meditation can improve your life in 31 different ways! This is amazing! And it completely free, easy and takes on 30 min a day.
People should start taking it more seriously.
What do you this about mobile apps for guided meditation?

Reply
    Kenny Lee November 22, 2017

    Hi. Thanks for checking out my article. I’ve not tried out any mobile apps for guided meditation. But I think it’s good if it can help beginners to learn the basics of meditation.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
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