How Can Meditation Improve Our Mental Health?

meditation and mental health

How does meditation impact mental health?

Monk with folded hands, wearing yellow robes meditating with eyes shut.
Meditation is an age-old spiritual practice that has relevance today more than ever
  • Recently scientists have discovered that the true potential of our brain is not set at birth. We have the power to strengthen our brains as we grow. This attribute of the brain is known as ‘neuroplasticity’. And one of the best ways to improve and strengthen the neuroplasticity of the brain is mediation. For instance, when we feel lonely and isolated, one specific region of our brain becomes active: the partial lobe. We can prevent the feeling of isolation through meditation as it helps us to calm down the partial lobe. Thus meditation, can train the brain to overcome the feeling of loneliness and feel connected and at peace.
  • When we meditate, it decreases the beta waves in our brain. This means that the brain stops processing information actively. Even if we meditate for only 20 minutes, the frontal cortex, partial, and reticular lobe tend to slow down. It’s as if we turn down the volume knob in our brain and drown out the noise. In effect, meditation helps improve concentration and mental health by reducing anxiety and stress.
  • Meditation is also known to impact the grey matter in our brain. Studies have shown that meditation can increase the grey matter in the brain’s frontal parts and hippocampus. It is this grey matter that is responsible for increasing emotional stability and positive thinking. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Human head and brain. Different kind of waveforms produced by brain activity shown on background.
Meditation is proven to impact brain activity in significant ways

Benefits of meditation for mental health

Image of a human figure sitting in a meditative pose with all the benefits of meditation on mental health enlisted around.

Improves self-esteem

Increases concentration

Reduces stress and anxiety

Enhances emotional well-being

Helps to fight addiction

Improves sleep

Easy steps for beginners to begin meditation for improved mental health

  1. Get in a comfortable position before starting with meditation. Sit in a chair, cushion, or even floor to meditate. Ensure your spine is erect and your body is loose and not tensed.
  2. Next, close your eyes and focus entirely on your breathing. Follow your breath, both while inhaling and exhaling.
  3. Follow your breathing for two minutes. Start by inhaling deeply, holding for three to four seconds, and then exhaling slowly. Then repeat the process for as long as you can.
  4. Each time a thought crosses your mind, avoid following it. Try to bring your attention back to your breath. Do this repeatedly and you will notice that over time the frequency of thoughts reduces.
Full length mindful young indian woman making mudra gesture, sitting in lotus position on comfortable couch at home.

To conclude…

A group of multiethnic women meditation together on yoga mats.

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