The benefits of meditation grow over time as a cumulative process, even when you are not meditating. More of the brain is being used while you meditate and this encourages additional utilization of the brain even when you are not mediating. For an introduction to meditation please read my post, What is Meditation? I recommend that you regularly visit this information as motivation to start or continue a meditation practice. One of the services I offer is meditation guidance and coaching, in addition to custom-designed guided meditations. Meditation is good for so many things, in addition to its use for increasing intuitive ability.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers the following list of benefits achieved through meditation, both physiological and psychological:
Physiological Benefits of Meditation
- Deep rest-as measured by decreased metabolic rate, lower heart rate, and reduced work load of the heart
- Lowered levels of cortisol and lactate-two chemicals associated with stress
- Reduction of free radicals – unstable oxygen molecules that cause tissue damage
- Improved blood pressure
- Higher skin resistance. Low skin resistance is correlated with higher stress and anxiety levels
- Drop in cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease
- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to the asthma patient
- Slows the aging process.
Psychological Benefits of Meditation
- Increased brain wave coherence—electric activity of the brain becomes more organized. (There are several types of brain waves which correlate with different states of mind—beta, alpha, theta, delta. Beta is the normal, everyday state of waking consciousness that the average person is in most of the time. Alpha begins to happen when you close your eyes and begin to relax. Theta is a deeper state beyond alpha that occurs just after waking from sleep and just before falling asleep, also called the hypnagogic state. Theta is a deep state of relaxation that can be achieved in mediation, it is also the state from which many intuitive insights arise. Delta is a deep state of consciousness that is reached in sleep.)
- Greater creativity
- Decreased anxiety
- Decreased depression
- Decreased irritability and moodiness
- Improved learning ability and memory
- Increased self-actualization ( self-actualization is a psychological term referring to the goal of becoming more fully oneself and expressing one’s full potential)
- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation
- Increased happiness
- Increased emotional stability
Spiritual Benefits of Meditation (not derived from the NIH, but important)
- Meditation helps the practitioner see the bigger context of one’s life and to keep small things in perspective. Emotional reactions are typically not as dramatically expressed, emotions are dealt with a greater sense of control.
- Increased compassion for others. An awareness of one’s emotional responses in the body as well as emotional reactions allows for a greater understanding of the emotional realm, which helps to create compassion for others. Compassion is also created from an expansion of the heart and heart chakra.
- Deeper understanding of yourself and others and emotional clearing. As mentioned, emotional clearing is common in many forms of meditation and is very beneficial energetically and ultimately, physically. Emotions or stress that are held in the body tissues and not dealt with lead to disease.
- Meditation creates a deeper relationship with God, however you choose to understand that. It directly puts you in touch with ‘Source’ energy which plugs you in to the Universe.
- Through mediation it is possible to attain enlightenment/self-realization
- Meditation helps the practitioner to live in the present moment
- Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego (here the ego can be understood as the ‘individual I.’)
- Experience a sense of “Oneness” and peace
- Better intuition and enhanced psychic ability. In the Hindu literature, the “side effects” of meditation are referred to as “siddhis.” Some of these results include things like psychic ability, levitation, and bi-location. They are not in general encouraged by the literature (as they can be viewed as attachments and obstacles to enlightenment) but it is known and demonstrated that meditation develops intuition. This is the number one practice that I encourage my students in my Psychic Development Mentoring Program to have in order to develop their abilities.
- Studies of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in Washington DC have demonstrated that a group of thousands of meditators acting together can actually lower crime rates. Meditation can affect the world around one in a positive way. (TM meditation is one of the most scientifically studied forms of meditation, it involves focusing on a mantra, which is a sound or series of syllables.)
Happy Meditating! 🙂