Meditation as a tool to enhance mental health

People have long taken advantage of the far-reaching benefits of meditation. Just like the body, the mind also requires exercise, and meditation is just that for your mind. In the Buddhist tradition, meditation translates to a word which has a meaning similar to the word sport. You can call meditation the sport of the mind to achieve fitness of the inner soul.

Meditation is the solution if you want to cultivate a sense of inner peace in your daily routine. It gives you the tools to enhance your mindfulness and find serenity. We achieve lower stress levels, get to realize our pain by self-realization, find a connection between mind and body, improve our focus, and are ultimately much kinder to ourselves. Let us discover some essential know-how of meditation.

Meditation’s relation to boosting mental health

The impact of meditation on your brain

In a meta-analysis conducted by the University of British Columbia, researchers found that people who meditate had brain matters unlike those who don’t. Those individuals who practice mediation regularly have more mass in a few areas of their brain. These regions are responsible for controlling impulses. The National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health conducted several studies that had interesting conclusions that correlated brain cell enhancement with meditation. The results in these studies suggested that proper meditation leads to more folds in the outer layer of their brain. This is called gyrification and has often been associated with an increased ability of the brain to process information and boost focus during assignments.

Sustaining emotional stability

They also found that persistent meditators had more activity in their amygdale, the part responsible for processing emotions. They concluded that different meditation techniques affect the amygdale differently, even when the person is not meditating. Many other scientific studies give evidence of how meditation improves various elements of the brain, which results in aiding patients that experience depression, anxiety disorders, autism, ADHD, PTSD, schizophrenia, insomnia, eating disorders, and even Alzheimer’s.

Assisting individuals to overcome depression

1 in 6 Americans takes psychiatric drugs, usually anti-depressants caused by tough examinations and other factors. Often people want to avoid their use due to the related side effects. We can see meditation as an alternative to these mood-altering medications. Meditation allows you to release all your negative thoughts in a non-judgemental space, making you face them and eventually let go of.

The Archives of General Psychiatry published results from a study that was conducted to determine if meditation could be a substitute for anti-depressants. They divided the participating volunteers into three groups. They prescribed the first group to take their anti-depressants as they usually would; the second was instead given a placebo and the last group only received meditation therapy. After 18 months, they studied levels of depression relapse.

The group which received mindfulness meditation therapy has the least relapse probability. This hammers the idea that meditation can be a substitute for the medication, and there are many instances where this has been happening.

Enhancing one’s focus

Massachusetts General Hospital teaches weekly 90-minute mindfulness and meditation techniques that attend to the concern of controlling a body’s mental response to physical stress. We have seen ADHD patents resort to meditation to learn the ability to focus, which is their chief complaint. Furthermore, individuals in recovery from abusive drugs want to avoid the use of any medication due to possible interference with their treatments. For them, meditation is a powerful tool to strengthen their mind and start having control over their body.

Providing relief from anxiety

Another issue amongst the population is anxiety disorders. Due to its unpredictable nature, it causes stress to many who suffer from it. Mindfulness training helps face this issue rather than avoid it. It is effective in reducing stress hormones that bring about rows of anxiety. Students are another prime target of mental illnesses. Loads of lectures, keeping up with the schedule, assignments, and examinations form for a very hectic routine.

It’s easy to exhaust your mental capacity in such stressful circumstances. We have often observed students taking supplements to be able to adhere to this routine. Hence, for student’s meditation is a prime tool to relax and serves as a beacon where they can resort to calmness and peace from their routine.

Regain Mental Control

18 in 20 veterans commit suicide every day. Mental illness has affected millions of lives and costs governments thousands of dollars every year. As mentioned earlier, meditation helps improve the tissue mass of the brain. It stimulates the peripheral nervous system that allows quick body regress to calmness after any distressing situation giving you control over your response.

Furthermore, meditation helps with self-awareness. If you realize how you think you can gain some control over your thoughts. This gives you the ability to respond to any distressing situation critically and logically.

Today’s Lifestyle

The modern lifestyle is fast-paced and brisk nowadays. Considering this, it’s natural that we forget to live in the moment. We are more concerned about what the future holds. As a consequence, many of us face depression, mental issues, and inner restlessness. It is essential to have some way of gaining inner peace in today’s world, and meditation equips with just that.

It is a powerful reflective tool that teaches us to live in the now, rather than worrying about the later. It aligns you with your inner self and helps you understand who you are and establish your life principles. You can go to your nearest group meditation centre, or if you prefer an individualistic approach, you can practice it at home. It is easy to master the art of meditation, and there are tones of online tutorials and mobile applications such as Calm and Headspace, where you can tap your way to Zen.

An overview of the matter

We need to consider that we human beings have physical limits, when we keep pushing ourselves; something has to take the fall. People’s mental health is impacted in most situations. Our brains work overtime, and beyond capacity, this makes it tired, and eventually, we face the resulting disorders. So, at the end of each day, give your brain a break.

Give it time to relax before you start another hectic day. At the minimum, meditate for five minutes every day, and you will feel the difference in your personality. Meditation has powers that go beyond our ability to fathom. Moreover, there are six identifiable types of meditation techniques. Each type has its own merits and is optimum for specific needs. Watch this to find out what suits you best?

Author Bio: Mary Jones is the co-founder & editor-in-chief at TopMyGrades, which focuses on Content Marketing Strategy for clients from the Education industry in the US, Canada & UK. Mary has conducted a series of webinars for AssignmentEssayHelp on assignment help . She has extensive content editing experience and has worked with MSNBC, NewsCred & Scripted. She has also authored blogs on Lifehack.org, Wn.com, Medium.com, Minds.com and many more digital publications

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