New to the practice of meditation?
It can be pretty confusing!
Not new to the practice of meditation?
It can STILL be pretty confusing!
Meditation has existed for centuries in South Asian countries, yet in the last few years, the practice has finally arrived in America. We all know at least one person who has fully immersed themselves in this art of de-stressing.
But this growing investment into meditation means that it has also attracted the attention of the skeptics – the ones who are a bit on the flip side when it comes to incorporating meditation into their lives. This skepticism arises due to multiple reasons – its marketing in the wellness market and the overestimation of its benefits.
That said, it’s essential to understand that meditation is a highly effective wellness practice. This has been proven over the years by various researchers.
We did our homework and have compiled the best meditation facts and benefits to inspire your next session. In this post, we delve deeper into the history of meditation along with the science-backed benefits of the practice. Let’s get started.
But First, What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a broad discipline encompassing various activities adapted from Buddhist traditions. It aims to use a person’s mind by indulging in specific activities. While meditation has endless forms, at its core is mindfulness. There’s no universally accepted definition of mindfulness, but it can be described as a sense of awareness that arises from focusing on the present moment.
While you might have heard of meditation as something magical or transformational – it’s simply about gaining awareness and a better understanding and perspective of life. So, you aren’t trying to turn off your thoughts; you are just learning to observe them without judgment.
Let’s dive into some interesting meditation facts and benefits to help you better understand what meditation is and how it can benefit you.
13+ Meditation Facts And Benefits
1. Meditation does not alter the brain.
There’s a lot of hype about how meditation can alter the structure of your brain!
But is it true?
Previous studies have reported that meditation can increase the brain’s grey matter or the density of brain cells in just eight weeks. However, the scientific facts about meditation, as reported by research published in Science Advances (using the largest sample size), could not confirm these findings.
The study, however, reports that there might be positive benefits of meditation can be seen in the brain. But this will take much longer than just eight weeks.
2. You DON’T need a mantra to practice meditation (yet having one can help).
Are our fun facts about meditation changing your perception of meditation practice?
We told you it’s confusing.
So hear us out – while most wellness Gurus would swear by mantras or intentional statements for your practice, there’s no hard and fast rule about using them.
Mantras can definitely aid your meditation practice. But you can also use meditation sounds or simply your breaths as a tool.
3. Meditation can help improve your relationship with food.
Are you someone who’s jumping from one diet fad to another? Is it sugar control or single-ingredient meals to develop a healthy lifestyle?
If yes, here’s some bad news for you – research suggests that most of these diet plans do not actually work in the long term.
Here’s something from our repository of scientific facts about meditation that’ll cheer you up! Developing a healthy relationship with food is very much possible using meditation. Meditation is all about developing awareness. This awareness is the key to rejecting diet culture and incorporating healthy eating into your life.
4. Meditation helps deal with depression and anxiety.
Depression and anxiety are debilitating mental health condition that affects millions of people across the globe.
If you live with depression, you experience feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, and much more. Meditation can help manage these symptoms effectively. As per research published in De Gruyter, meditation reduces the inflammation in the brain (which is one of the significant causes of depression).
At the very basic, meditation for depression aims to help you assess your thoughts and feelings. This way, rather than getting lost in hopelessness or loneliness, you can see a fresh perspective.
5. Meditation does not make your brain go blank.
For all those who believe that the goal of meditation is to clear your mind, here is one of the fun facts about meditation that’ll make you question everything you believe!
Contrary to popular belief, meditation does not clean the mind or make it go blank. That was never its initial purpose as well. Meditation helps you take a deeper look at what’s going on in your mind and make sense of it.
6. Meditation does not need to be practiced in silence.
Okay, don’t call us out just yet!
Yes, there are specific forms of meditation, like Vipassana, that need to be performed in complete silence.
But, other than that, multiple types of meditation can be performed while humming or listening to music. A quiet and peaceful mind is not necessarily achieved by quietness in your physical environment.
7. Globally, meditation is practiced by 200-500 million people worldwide.
This is one of the most interesting facts about meditation.
Yes! As per estimates, meditation is roughly practiced by around 200-500 million people across the globe. As per Scientific Reports, the number of people actively practicing meditation in America is about 35 million! In fact, meditation comes second in the list of most widely chosen mind-body therapies in the US.
8. Meditation can help sharpen your brain.
If you want to boost your concentration, focus, memory, or other cognitive skills, here’s one of the scientific meditation facts that will inspire your next session.
Meditation increases your overall focus and cognitive skills, thereby making you smarter with each session. Even shorter durations of meditation done consistently can help you achieve these benefits.
9. Meditation originated in India.
Looking to dive deeper into the history of meditation?
Here are some meditation facts about its origin.
As per ancient Indian literature (Vedic texts), meditation originated in the country to increase focus. In India, meditation is closely tied to historical contexts and finds references in Jainism and Buddhist practices.
10. You don’t need to meditate for hours; 10 minutes is great!
Most people struggle to understand how long they should meditate to reap the maximum benefits.
Well, here’s one of the best meditation facts for your rescue!
As per research published in Behavioural Brain Research, meditating for as little as 10-13 minutes can help you reap the desired benefits. In fact, it’s not a duration game at all. It’s more about consistency. The more consistent you are even with your 10-minute session, the better effects you will see.
11. Meditation improves your ability to work under pressure.
Struggling to cope with the ever-growing stress at work?
Meditation is here to rescue you!
The scientific facts about meditation, as reported by a 16-week-long study by Zubin R. Mulla and team, say that meditation helps employees manage work stress better and make better decisions.
12. Meditation is not a selfish and non-sciency indulgence.
For all those who still don’t believe that self-care is a thing and meditation helps (god bless you), here’s one of the most essential meditation facts for you!
Meditation is not a non-sciency self-indulgence. If you believe it is, so are walking, running, exercising daily, and so on. Meditation is a form of mental exercise that helps gain awareness about emotional and cognitive health. This, in turn, has many benefits for your personal and professional life.
13. It can make you more compassionate.
A nine-week study by Stanford Medicine reported a string of meditation facts and benefits.
As per the randomized control trial, continuously meditating for nine weeks increased the participants’ self-compassion and kindness.
The findings of the study are significant because they don’t just prove that compassion can be taught to humans but also offer a process in the name of meditation to improve your compassion levels.
14. Meditation can help you manage chronic pain.
One of the most extensively studied scientific facts about meditation is associated with its impact on chronic pain. A 2019 study found that meditation was related to decreased sensitivity toward pain. The best part is that it’s even beneficial for people without prior experience practicing meditation.
Meditation is one of the most far-reaching wellness practices that has gained global popularity for its myriad benefits. However, a gross overestimation and commercialization of these benefits mean that a lot of people are skeptical about trying meditation.
We hope this blog post on meditation facts and benefits will help you get started in the right direction.
With these meditation facts, you now understand how confusing meditation can be!
If you are struggling to begin your practice or take it to the next level, here are the best meditation apps to help you!
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