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How Meditation Can Save Your Mental Health

Evidence backed by scientific minds states depicts and emphasises that meditation as a practice can significantly improve our well-being, both in a physical and emotional or mental manner.

However, this article seeks to provide greater insight focused only on how meditation may improve your emotional well-being, such as through reducing stress and improving your self-esteem.

So, open your mind and allow this article to guide you towards a more positive mental well-being via the practice of meditation.

Woman meditating in the woods, or a similar natural environment, with her legs crossed and her eyes closed. The woman is wearing an orange vest and black trousers with no socks or shoes.

Improves self-esteem & self-awareness

Firstly, indulging in meditation may improve your self-esteem and self-awareness through enabling you to partake in deeper self-reflection, thus provoking you to develop a more positive outlook regarding your own behaviours and attributes.


Furthermore, meditation generates a greater feeling of contentment, which allows those who practice it remain satisfied in spending time alone, rather than suffering at the hands of loneliness and constantly yearning for companionship during their everyday lives.


Additionally, meditation is exceedingly effective in reducing the intensity of an individual's social anxiety, as emphasised by research conducted by Stanford University, conducted in 2009, whereby participants who consistently suffered from intense social anxiety were to subjected to the practice of meditation for just 2 months, after which their levels of anxiety decreased alongside improvement in their self-esteem.


Simpler & more effective concentration

In slowing down your thoughts and seemingly your surroundings, meditation enables you to focus more precisely on the task at hand, thus allowing you to carry out projects, jobs, academic papers or any other task with a clearer and more efficient mind. In turn, this prevents anxiety, stress and procrastination whilst it also enhances the longevity of your attention span.


Additionally, researchers from Harvard Medical School found, in their 2011 study, that brain scans taken after participants had partaken in an 8 week long meditation programme showcased an increase in grey matter within the parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning when compared to brain scans taken of the participants prior to the meditation programme.


Reduces stress

Relaxing yourself with some silent sitting and meditation can do wonders for you in regard to reducing your stress levels, in fact this is the most common reason for which people choose to practice meditation. In turn, meditation may simultaneously reduce your blood pressure and anxiety and prevent insomnia, fatigue and depression.


To emphasise this, a study conducted in 2019 utilised stress scales and a course which involved participants meditating for approximately 15 minutes each day for 4 moths. Resultingly, the participants reported significantly lower levels of stress than prior to the course, thus determining that meditation is a greatly effective tool in reducing stress.


Better sleep

Meditation can equip you with a greater ability to fall asleep quickly and for longer periods, as it increases your natural melatonin levels and relaxes your body through easing muscle tension.

Simultaneously, as it also reduces anxiety, it should enable you to sleep in a more peaceful manner, thus decreasing the risk of frequent night terrors or insomnia.


Combats anxiety & depression

As previously discussed, meditation can improve your concentration, thus allowing you to focus on the present rather than unnecessarily paying mind to past mistakes and regrets or upcoming deadlines or events. Therefore, in enabling the present to become the sole occupier of your thoughts, meditation reduces anxiety in regard to the future whilst encouraging you to remain productive in your daily life, which in turn further stimulates your brain on a continuous basis and keeps you productive, thus preventing laziness, which often leads to deterioration in an individual's mental state and can accumulate alongside other negative emotions to result in depression.


Furthermore, the hypothesis that meditation can be used to manage anxiety and depression was tested and proven correct in a research study carried out in 2014 and published by JAMA Internal Medicine.


Fights addiction

According to Shanmugamurthy Lakshmanan's 2016 article, meditation can alter the receptors in an individual's brain which influence drug or alcohol addiction and resultingly provoke awareness within them in regard to their own cravings, thus allowing them to manage them more effectively and potentially offset an addiction.


Furthermore, a study conducted by Eric Garland in 2018 suggested that meditation can be used to regulate how our brains experience pleasure and thus reduce the risk of a future relapse for someone who suffers from a disorder regarding substance use.

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