We live in a world that never stops. We think too much about deadlines and workload. We try hard to sustain personal relationships. We drink too much coffee, watch our weight, and stress about our health. What if there was an extra battery to make the maddening spiral of life easier to bare? Imagine you had the power of changing your life for the better and becoming the best version of yourself. You wouldn’t need medication or magic, just a skill known as meditation.

For as long as 5000 years, humanity has been meditating. Countless cultures, religions and inquisitive individuals have discovered the transformative power of meditation practices. Today, we can speak about more than a hundred benefits of meditation, ranging from mental health, physical health, work productivity, wellbeing, spirituality and more.

Infographic on what meditation is, 5 ancient tips for meditation and interesting facts about meditation

So, what is meditation?

In short, it is a skill you learn to focus attention and awareness, and to achieve a healthy sense of perspective. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a matter of controlling every single thought, but rather, it’s a matter of consciousness and going with the flow of your mind. Over the years, spiritual leaders, health experts and educators have developed dozens of forms of meditation to suit most people’s lifestyle and personality.

At Synctuition, meditation is our specialization. We have created a specialized audio technology to help people experience the benefits of meditation. Yet, even we have a though time segmenting meditation’s many perks. We have decided to be brave and bring you a comprehensive list of all meditation benefits known to date, 150 no less

Mental Health Benefits of Meditation

Beautiful lavender field with a pinkish sky scene with a Deepack Chopra quote on meditation

 

When thinking about taking care of your mental health, wellbeing websites and specialists will likely recommend meditation. Before rolling your eyes in disbelief, hold up; there’s actually logic behind it. In a review published in 2014 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researches reviewed more than 18,000 focused on the mental health benefits of meditation. The results were simply jaw-dropping: meditation proved to change how our bodies respond to stress, which ultimately works wonders on anxiety, depression, PTSD and more as it offers…

1.Immediate Relaxation

You don’t need a day at the spa. When you meditate regularly, you are able to enter in a deep state of relaxation whenever you need it most, totally free of charge. This is possible because meditation is the antithesis of the fight-or-flight response  as it activates our relaxation response. Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, described the relaxation response as the personal ability to encourage your body to release chemicals and brain signals that make your muscles and organs slow down and increase blood flow to the brain. So, on top of feeling immediately relaxed, meditation offers many health benefits that arise when our body is calm.

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2. Balances Stress Levels

Who hasn’t wished to eliminate stress completely? Stress happens when we can’t cope with the pressures of daily life. Under too much pressure, our bodies pay the price; we can experience tension, fatigue, headaches and more. Meditation helps you cope with the effects of the stress response by helping you enter in a state of restful alertness. Once there, your body experiences healing effects from decreased heart rate to better immunity and decreased inflammation.

What’s more, with meditation you will learn to balance stress levels. They key is finding that space in your mind to sort out which tasks demand your attention and which ones are irrelevant.

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3. Controls Anxiety

About 40 million adults suffer from anxiety disorders in America alone. Despite available treatments, numbers keep increasing. For years, an effective, yet lesser-known antidote has helped many sufferers: meditation. According to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center1, meditation-related anxiety relief is associated with the activation of three key areas of the brain involved with executive function and control of worrying — the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and anterior insula. The study found you can reduce anxiety with meditation by as much as 39%.

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4. Helps to Cope with Depression

According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people around the world — children, teenagers and adults —  experience the symptoms of depression. Hopelessness, sadness, and guilt…This mental health condition prompts negative feelings that end up consuming our lives.

A study into mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) by the University of Exeter2 found that meditation is as efficient as drugs or counseling for depression. Three quarters of the patients who participate in the study and were taught mindfulness meditation felt well enough to stop taking antidepressants.

How could the patients achieve this? Normally, depression hijacks our attention; when we are sad, we focus solely on that feeling. Although meditation doesn’t offer a final cure to depression, it can help by breaking the cycle and re-directing our attention to different, positive feelings.

5. Emotional Stability

Balancing mood-swings and emotional outbreaks is science. The Lateral Prefrontal Cortex or LPC  is that part of our brains that modulates behaviour and emotions. According to Dr. Rebecca Gladding, meditation changes the brain regions including the LPC, allowing us to break down what is making us upset and unstable.3

6. Boosts Energy

During busy mornings we get our coffee fix or gulp down an energy drink. As a nation, we spend millions to get a little bit of energy to survive the day. When we let ourselves be consumed by the pressures of work and daily life, we trigger our fight-or-flight response — releasing cortisol, aka the stress hormone. Cortisol happens to be energy’s No.1 enemy. Luckily, meditation is a great way to get rid of this nasty hormone as doctors at the University of Rutgers discovered we can reduce cortisol up to 50% by regular meditation practice.

7. Challenges Emotional Eating

It’s possible to discover the reason behind cravings! Researches of eating habits gathered 70 overweight participants and invited them to meditate. The fantastic discovery revealed that, whenever participants felt the need to indulge and became mindful, they were able to control their desire.4

8. Gives You Adaptability

People fear the unknown; we feel overwhelmed in front of new environments and opportunities. Meditation gives you the “gut-feeling” to navigate in this volatile world and the adaptable intelligence to step out of the comfort zone, helping clear your mind off fears and anxieties as well as increasing your ability to focus by regular practice.

9. Helps you Gain Motivation

Often, we find ourselves lacking the motivation to achieve our life-goals or start that business we’ve always dreamed of. For those who struggle finding motivation, meditation can help by building gray matter in areas of the brain. Gray matter is linked to many perks, among them heightened focus and emotional stability. The more gray matter we have, the more positive we feel and the more we are motivated to reach our goals quicker.

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10. Helps You Cope with Postpartum Depression

Postnatal depression affects thousands of people. Yet, there are amazing ways to cope with it. Researchers have concluded, “mindfulness training facilitates mothers’ concentration on experiences, which enables them to control their feelings especially those negative ones such as feelings of guilt and worthlessness.”5

11. Mind-Body Connection

Scientists over at the HeartMath Institute have been researching mind-body connection or heart-brain synchronicity as they call it, according to Dr. Rollin McCraty, Director of Research at the Institute: “as we practice heart coherence and radiate love and compassion, our heart generates a coherent electromagnetic wave into the local field environment that facilitates social coherence… As more individuals radiate heart coherence, it builds an energetic field that makes it easier for others to connect with their heart.” When we practice positive emotions through meditation, our hearts send out a unique signal to the brain, strengthening the mind-body connection. 6

12. Relieves Irrational Phobias  

Since phobias are irrational by their very nature, it is impossible to stop fear by merely thinking logically. As the phobia is all in your head, it makes sense to train your mind against it. With mediation, your mind is in the present, cleansing your inner self from negative feelings.

13. Soothes the Effects of Trauma

Research from the Eisenhower Army Medical Center revealed that meditation can potentially calm and heal the brain. This works because meditation reduces reduces stress hormones by calming the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our ‘fight-or-flight’ responses to danger. Veterans who added meditation to their PTSD recovery treatment felt less irritable, slept better, and saw an improvement in their personal relationships.7

14. Helps you Tolerate Crowds and Noise

You can distance yourself from the noise of your surroundings and the buzz of the city through mindfulness. Reaching your inner center facilitates relaxation, ultimately allowing you to survive the day.

15. Reduces Social Isolation

A study from the American Psychological Association stated that subjects who engaged in loving-kindness meditation “increased feelings of social connection and positivity toward novel individuals, on both explicit and implicit levels.”8

16. Improves Body-positivity

Loving your body image is a deeply personal and complex journey. Many wonder where to start. The good news is that meditation offers the perfect first step: by eliminating toxic thoughts, you focus on the traits that make you beautiful.

17. Lessens Aggressiveness

Seeing red is not pretty. It’s an overwhelming emotion, which has consequences on your overall health. It eats away at your cardiovascular system, hijacks your nervous system, and it can block your capacity of thinking clearly. You cannot simply command yourself to stop feeling angry, but you can lessen the emotion and its effect with meditation. Studies have proven that meditation regulates the amygdala, a series of nuclei, which trigger aggression and fear.

18. Quiets Racing Thoughts

Scientists believe humans have between 35 to 50 thoughts per minute. When we experience high levels of stress, it’s nearly impossible to stops racing thoughts overflowing your mind. By focusing on a single thought or image with meditation, you redirect your mind to what truly matters.

19. Reduces Age-related Memory Lost

Our golden years come with their downsides, and memory lost is one of them. You can preserve a strong memory with meditation, as demonstrated by a study case published in the Alzheimer’s Disease journal. Volunteers aged 52 to 77 years old were significantly better at remembering animals and numbers in a minute after deep meditation. How did they do it? As it turns out, when we meditate on a regular basis, the blood flow is increased in the frontal lobe and parietal lobes, areas in the brain involved in retrieving memories.

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20. No Startle Response

Studies focused on the defensive response, which arises when we experience an aversive starte stimulus, discovered that those who meditate can produce less physiological and facial responses.10

21. Crystal-clear Thinking  

Who wouldn’t like the power of organizing and surfing through their thoughts with clarity and direction? Probably everyone, and you could achieve this with the practice of regular meditation. As you meditate, you will be able to tame your mind and will find that is possible to block harmful and unnecessary thoughts. This will allow you to harness relevant thoughts and find the solution to any problem.

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22. Positive Mindset

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” No wonder that the most successful people attribute their outstanding achievements to the power of positive thinking. With a positive mindset, you will allow yourself to see good in every little thing. Therefore, unlocking life-changing opportunities. By clearing your mind from worry, anxiety, depression, and fear through meditation, you develop a positive, long-lasting mindset.

Meditation Benefits for the Brain

2D brain with connections and synapsis with Matthieu Ricard's quote on meditation

 

Many people turn to meditation with the firm purpose of putting a stop to the stress and noise of the routine. Meditation, in fact, goes beyond. There is a great deal of scientific evidence pointing out significant changes in the brain’s structure. So, when you meditate, you’re not feeling wonderful just because you are relaxed and free of stress. Areas of your brain, which have to do with attention, memory and intelligence are constantly being stimulated…

23. Staves off Alzheimer and Dementia

Time can be humanity’s biggest enemy. As we age, neurodegeneration occurs, affecting our brain with every year. Many studies have digged into the practice of meditation and its power to slow degenerative diseases such as alzheimer and dementia. The findings concluded that those who practice meditation have less atrophy in the hippocampus, which is shrunken in people with Alzheimer’s. What’s more, meditation helps seniors feel less isolated and lonely, two feelings leading to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

24. Trains the Brain

Take control now. Meditation is the equivalent “bench-press” for your brain. If you analyze people’s brain while they meditate, you would be amazed to find stronger neural connections between the lateral prefrontal cortex (emotional reactions) and the medial prefrontal cortex (information process).  

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25. Increases Gray Matter

Gray matter is this super important part of our central nervous system linked to our memory, emotions, self-control, and more wonders. Harvard studies confirmed significant brain structural changes after eight weeks of audio meditation practice. The researchers observed an increased gray matter concentration in the left hippocampus of the participants’ brains.”11

26. Develops Intuition

“The only valuable thing” for Albert Einstein, intuition is known as the most powerful form of intelligence. You don’t need psychic powers to unlock or fix your intuitive awareness, just meditation. It trains your brain for better synchronization and neural connections.

27. The “Calm Chemical”

Like many things, your ability to stay  calm depends on a chemical, aka GABA. Many people who are constantly, nervous, jumpy or anxious lack this chemical. The good thing is, that psychiatrists at the Boston University revealed that GABA increases 27% after just 1 hour of mindfulness meditation. Of course, we always recommend seeking professional advices as well as incorporating meditation to your routine.

28. High Intelligence

Intelligence is not just math and science. The greatest minds were both logical and creative. And how do achieve such level of intelligence? By synchronizing both hemispheres and unlocking a greater processing power through meditation.

29. Allocates Limited Brain Resources

If you wish for a megamind, meditation could help as demonstrated by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. During three months, participants engaged in a study by meditation and completing attentional-blink tasks. The results were outstanding with researches concluding that “meditation, or mental training resulted in a smaller attentional blink and reduced brain-resource allocation.”12

30. Awareness of your Unconscious Mind

The unconscious harbors many secrets, undiscovered talents, and limitless creativity. Delving in a state of deep mindfulness allows you to be in touch with that potential.

31. Visuospatial Processing

Representing and mentally manipulating objects at will…That’s the art of visuospatial processing, something only dedicated meditators excel at. Studies on Buddhist meditation showed that mindfulness caused an “increase in performance on both imagery maintenance and spatial tasks”.13

32. Greater Communication Between Brain Hemispheres

Studies of  neuroplasticity the ability of the brain to change throughout an individual’s life — have proven that meditation helps the brain hemispheres to increase the speed and frequency at which they communicate with one another. As we know, this keeps your brain active and fresh.

33. Better Perceptual Ability

A Zen-retreat in Germany proved that, intense focus with meditation induces the same heightened senses.14 For example, some of the retreat’s  participants were told to practice meditation with special focus on their index finger and to become more aware of all the sensation that spontaneously arose in that finger.

By the end of the retreat, those participants demonstrated a significant increase in the tactile acuity of the index finger in comparison to non-meditating participants. Meditation is the battery charger to your senses as concentrated thought and awareness can improve your perception and sensory acuity.

34. Develops Emotional Maturity

Through self-observation, meditation you gain a greater clarity of mind, control over emotions, and stability. You learn how to approach problems and other upsetting situations from a different perspective, in a way becoming immune to them.

35. Might Help Sufferers of Schizophrenia

Despite modest findings in schizophrenia trials with meditation, many people who experience schizophrenia and meditated have shared positive experiences. Mindfulness interventions can give people greater insight into their experiences of psychosis, so they are less bothered by them.

Health Benefits of Meditation

Young woman on woman in front of a sea and mountain scene with Dalai Lama's quote on being serene and calm.

 

How many times have we heard the phrase “there’s no healthy body without a healthy mind”? Probably dozens of times and it doesn’t make it less true. A growing body of scientific research continues to demonstrate numerous health benefits of meditation. And although meditation will not make your health issues disappear and medical aid is always recommended, we can say that people suffering from health conditions can experience wellness as meditation….

36. Strengthens Immune System

Our immune cells participate in the chemical messages sent by the brain through the body. In the words of Deepak Chopra, renowned author and alternative medicine advocate, “your thoughts, moods, sensations, and expectations are transmitted to your immune cells. When you meditate, these messages change in important ways.” This way, meditation activates the internal pharmacy of your body.

37. Keeps Blood Pressure On Check

High blood pressure doubles your chances of having a stroke and a heart attack. That’s why is important to keep your number on check. Meditation is one of the various things you can do to bring your blood pressure down. Numerous studies have concluded that meditation helps by influencing the autonomic nervous system, the one in charge of regulating blood pressure.

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38. Decreases Inflammation at the Cellular Level

Inflammation, particularly the one induced by psychological stress, can have serious consequences in our bodies. Research shows inflammation promotes greater risk for infectious diseases, heart diseases and depression.

A growing body of research also suggests that, through meditation, we can control inflammation. According to Helen Lavasky analysis centered on the effects of meditation on inflammatory proteins showed “a reduced activity of those proteins linked directly to increased inflammation.”15

39. More Serotonin Production

Meditation offers a 100% natural increase of serotonin, best known as the “happy neurotransmitter”. It showers our neurons with feel-good chemicals, strong enough to eliminate negativity, anxiety, and sadness.

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40. Reduces Free Radicals

Meditation slows aging by reducing cellular damage caused by free radicals, highly reactive molecules. Numerous studies show evidence of enhanced activity of antioxidants (molecules that defend us against free radicals) during meditation.

41. Higher levels of the “Longevity Hormone”

DHEA, also known as the longevity hormone, is naturally produced by our body’s adrenal glands. A 12-year study linked DHEA to mortality. In summary: the less DHEA we have, the more vulnerable we are to diseases and accelerated aging. The happy news is that Dr. Vincent Giampapa, longevity researcher, discovered that meditators have 43.7% more DHEA than non-meditators.

42. Helps PMS (post-menopausal syndrome)

You don’t need dodgy pills to cope with the worst symptoms of PMS.  Science points meditation as an excellent medicine to counter irritability during PMS by creating more positive thoughts in our minds.

43. Helps with Epilepsy

The seizure threshold of an epilepsy sufferer is lowered whenever they’re anxious or tired. Meditation tackles that stress and produces neurological stability. Although is recommended that people who experience epileptic seizures to meditate caution, the practice can reduce excessive brain activity and medication dependency.

44. Soothes Phantom Limb Pain

Phantom Limb Pain is a major source of chronic pain in persons with amputation. It is possible to lessen the pain with muscle relaxation training and guided imagery, as demonstrated by trials carried out in Italy.16

45. Soothes Premenstrual Symptoms

PMS has been characterized by 150 symptoms. According to research published in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, relaxing your body via meditation is “an effective treatment for physical and emotional premenstrual symptoms.

46. Helps with Fibromyalgia

You don’t have to live with permanent chronic pain. When we experience the smallest of pains, for example, when we stub a toe, we think the pain comes from that toe. As it turns out, the perception of pain comes from the brain. As fibromyalgia stems from sensitivity in the neurological system, it makes sense to gain control over your pain through meditation.

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47. Minimizes Risk of Heart Diseases

Statements from the American Heart Association in 2017 indicated that meditation has a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. How? Generally by improving factors such as sleep quality, high blood pressure, control over stressful situations and more…

48. Eases Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is implicated in most heart attacks. It is caused by factors like stress and smoking. With a proven record of having a positive impact on all those causes, meditation can help the disease.

49. Prevents Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Reports from Harvard affiliates indicate that stress management techniques such as meditation can help people with IBD. Co-author Branden Kuo described the study as “demonstration of the impact of a mind/body intervention on the genes controlling inflammatory factors that are known to play a major role in IBD.”

50. Manages Psoriasis

Stress plays a role in fomenting Psoriasis’ symptoms – itchy and unhealthy skin. Dr. Neil Korman of the center for psoriasis in Cleveland sees meditation as a factor that can “reduce stress and better manage psoriasis.”

51. Lessens Risk of Strokes

Meditation decreases the thickening of the carotid artery, known as carotid artery atherosclerosis and also, one of the top 3 risk factors for stroke. In fact, a study conducted by the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, found that Americans with heart disease who practiced meditation regularly were 48% less likely to have a stroke or heart attack.

52. Helps in Strokes Recovery

Meditation grows gray matter on areas of the brain responsible for attention and mental flexibly, which allows efficient information processing —  essential skills for strokes survivors working on healing the brain.

53. Calms Activity of Viruses

When you are under too much stress, you’re not just anxious and tense, your immune system also becomes weaker; you are likely to catch a cold more easily, and infections are stronger. Professor of immunology at NTNU, Vibeke Videm, recommends meditation as the best method to restoring your internal balance, strengthening your immunity and healing.

54. Mitigates Thickening of Coronary Arteries

Cardiologists identify 4 things as essential to reduce the consequences of coronary disease and they include lowering stress levels, exercise, diet, and love… achievable through meditation.

55. “Runners High”

Endorphins are our natural painkillers. Known as “runners high”, joggers feel endorphins after working out – which explains their longevity and superb cancer survival. Meditation also increases the levels of endorphins so you can achieve the runners’ high.

More Physical Health Benefits of Meditation

56. Relieves Inflammatory Disorders

Anxiety and stress are linked to chronic inflammation and cortisol, our bodies’ main stress hormone. Ivana Buric’s study on meditation concluded that there was a “significant silencing of two out of six pro-inflammatory genes (RIPK2 and COX2) in experienced meditators.” 17

57. Reduce Metabolic Syndrome

Very often, metabolic syndrome results in heart disease and poor cognitive functioning. Meditation rests the body and repairs it, acting as an effective treatment according to a systematic review by researchers at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. By practicing meditation constantly, it could be possible to improve individual indices that contain the host of symptoms that define the syndrome, i.e., obesity and high-blood pressure.

58. Speeds Recovery from Surgeries

Recovering for surgeries is nerve-wracking. Researcher Linda Carson explains that stress generated in the recovery process can have “dampening effects on the immune system. Hence, people are less able to recover quickly.” By giving us mental peace, meditation speeds up our recovery.

59. Reduced Need for Medical Care

Health is a blessing but can also be a curse when it costs hundreds. Researchers found that people who meditated consistently experienced a decrease in medical care fees after five years of practicing.18

60. Helps to Improve Fitness

“Mental stress undermines physical performance,” said Bob Roth, the David Lynch Foundation’s CEO. “Stress weakens resilience and resolve and fuels anxiety and fatigue.” Is no wonder that meditation, by increasing energy, focus and power, can help us to endure that hour of cardio swimmingly.

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61. Regulates Respiratory Rate

When we meditate, our oxygen consumption decreases up to 20%. This leads to a profound state of relaxation, similar to a night of sleep.

62. Soothes Arthritis

Meditation expert and therapist Andrea Rudolph, believes those who suffer from arthritis choose how to respond to pain. “By not allowing pain to define our lives, we can change how we view and relate to pain. That’s mindfulness.”

63. Controls Nicotine Addiction

Smokers mistakenly believe that cigarettes are stress relievers when, in fact, nicotine imitates chemicals that make us feel great. By naturally reducing stress and stimulating parts in our brains linked to self-control, meditation trims tobacco craving by 60%.19

64. Prevents Asthma

Did you know that stress is a potent trigger for inflammation? It turns out inflammation is part of the pathophysiology of asthma. As research suggests, meditation based on relaxation can successfully tackle asthma.

65. Can Replace Morphine

Is there a way to lessen our dependence on morphine and other painkillers? The answer is YES. While morphine reduces pain by 25%, meditation reduces it by 40% as demonstrated by neuroscience. 20

66. Manages Cholesterol

Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol doesn’t solely depend on eating habits; stress plays a major role. A study showed that “cholesterol levels significantly decreased through meditation in patients with elevated cholesterol over an 11-month period.” 21

67. Stimulates Growth Hormone

During childhood, the GH hormone is responsible for our development. It’s no surprise then that, as we get long in the tooth, GH production lowers causing fatigue and overall frailty. We generate the GH hormone by activating a key brain frequency called “delta”, which we can find during a deep stage of sleep or during meditation. And while the GH hormone will not make you travel back in time, it will bring you more health and general wellbeing.

68. Might Help with HIV

Research from UCLA discovered that the practice of mindfulness stopped the decline of lymphocytes (immune cells) in HIV-positive patients suffering from stress, slowing the disease’s progression.

69. Super Hearing

Overproduction of adrenaline can reduce blood circulation in the inner ear, reducing our hearing ability. Our “fight-or-flight” response triggers adrenaline levels, typical when we’re under stress. Meditation improves hearing by taming stress and increasing the flow of blood within the ears.

70. Makes You Sweat Least

Some of us can’t do the simplest thing before breaking into sweat. Although is impossible to get rid of sweat, people who meditate can control stress that triggers perspiration.

71. Helps Infertility

Infertility can be traumatic for those couples wishing to have a child. Sadly, this is not an uncommon problem. In America alone, nearly 10 million infertility cases have been reported. While the exact cause of infertility is yet to be known, The American Society for Reproductive Stress claims that extreme stress could impede fertility. Although more research has to be done, meditation, by relieving stress, could make fertility easier for couples.

Lifestyle and Wellbeing Benefits

Young woman meditating in a mystical place with Jeremy Taylor's quote on meditation.

 

Wellbeing is not just having great health and a killer figure; it’s a prolonged state of wellness and happiness. A balanced lifestyle and wellbeing requires dedication and determination. When you meditate, you see changes in your life because you possess a superior ability to remain focused and in the present. Science has proven that benefits of daily meditation are…

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72. Improves Sleep and Fights Insomnia

You can stop counting sheep and looking at your ceiling for hours. Meditation is the best natural solution for those struggling to fall asleep. When we meditate, the brain waves slow down activating our high quality sleep or REM sleep. The former is vital for the sleep cycle and influences your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.

Through meditation, we also boost the main sleep neurochemical — melatonin. This hormone is precious to us as its levels soar right before bedtime, making sure you get the restful sleep you need.

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73. Less Pain

In deep states of mindfulness, Buddhist monks use their minds as the best anesthesia. Relax; you don’t have to become a monk to numb pain. Studies have demonstrated that ordinary people who meditate can reduce pain by 57%.

74. Helps you Lose Weight

Weight loss is more than workout and yo-yo dieting. The founder of Holistically Slim reveals that meditators are successful at losing those extra pounds. Mindfulness “allows them to sit through their thoughts, challenge their limiting beliefs and raise their standards of what they want for their mind and body.”22 With meditation, you will be able to mentally prepare yourself, stick to a weight loss plan and get to your ideal weight.

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75. Controls Addiction

Meditation has become an intrinsic part of holistic rehabilitation. In the words on mindful recovery specialist, Kevin Griffin:  “In addiction, people turn to drugs to escape from uncomfortable feelings but in meditation, you learn to do the opposite. You sit with yourself, your thoughts and feelings instead of running away.”23

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76. Controls Screen Addiction

In this age of technology, it’s easy to have our eyes glued to our screens. A digital detox is recommended and linked to health benefits. For those who need an extra hand, meditation offers a solution by gently fixing your attention on images and sounds.

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77. Reduces Jetlag

Fatigue, muscular tension, and insomnia. Overcoming the fatal consequences of jetlag on the body is easier when you relax your body and cleanse your mind through a meditation session.

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78. Controls Headaches and Migraines

Meditation offers a solution to headaches that doesn’t require hundreds of pills. A study in the journal HEADACHE revealed the massive benefits of meditation: patients who practiced meditation had fewer migraines per month. 24

79. Slows Aging

Stop wasting money on expensive wrinkle moisturizers; the solution isn’t in a tube! Expert meditators look younger because meditation deactivates NF-kB, our skin’s prime age-accelerating gene.

80. Extends Longevity

The many health benefits of meditation we discussed before mean you will live longer. And there’s even more! Data suggests meditation has effects on telomere, an essential part of human cells that affect how they age. 25

81. Improves Sex Life

Spicing the bedroom is much easier with meditation. Through meditation, you can access your greatest erotic tool —  intuition. Your intuition helps you choosing your partners, understanding what they enjoy, and igniting the attraction spark.

82. Rested Body

As world’s renowned meditator Abraham Hicks says, “your body is an absolute mirror of our minds.” A meditation journey provides you with vitality and rest, which means a deeply rested body.

83. Improves Empathy

Imagine a world with more empathetic people. Empathy is not a mystic superpower; it’s achievable. By clearing your nervous system and expanding your inner awareness, meditation makes you more empathetic to others’ emotions.

84. Sharpens Memory

A password, an address or a task…not remembering something whenever we need it the most is extremely frustrating. All that information is saved in the hippocampus, our brain’s memory storage where here different neuronal cell types grow. Meditation regulates that memory vault, making easier for us the act of retaining information.

85. Increases Skin Resistance

Who’s in charge of keeping our skin strong and young? Two proteins: collagen and elastin. The stress hormone, Cortisol, loves to break the will of those two. Meditation plays the role of keeping Cortisol at bay, making us look flawless.

86. Increases Self-care

We spend time worrying about work and our loved ones. What about ourselves? Of the many benefits of meditation is improving self-knowledge. With a better understanding of yourself, you create the habit of focusing on the needs of your body and mind.

87. Boosts Libido

Great lovemaking depends on sex drive hormones: DHEA, testosterone, and estrogen. As per usual, we lose them with age. Fear not! Dr. Vincent Giampapa, researcher in longevity, discovered that meditators crack up the sexy hormones up to 40%.

88. Inclination to Sports and Activities

The word “gym” is simply not appealing to many people. Dr. Kristin Keim recommends meditation established and aspiring athletes. “Athletes who visualize accomplishing specific objectives/goals…can train the body to work harder and for a longer period of time in training and competition.”

89. Eating Disorders Recovery

Many people who experienced eating disorders link meditation to a prime factor in their recovery. Greta Gleissner, ED specialist, recommends meditation adding: “being relaxed in environments that trigger destructive eating behaviors can help people make more sound decisions to benefit their health. 26

90. Helps you Deal with Sport Setbacks

“Any athlete, regardless of ability, will experience sadness and even depression when injured,” says sports psychologist Justin Ross. In this hard time, meditation helps re-gaining the emotional balance and soothing pain.

91. Reduces Muscle Tension

Many people, regardless of age, experience muscle tension. Normally, the tension is caused by stress. As meditation is all about relaxation, you will feel less tension and pain.

92. Breaks Prescription Drugs Habit

Addiction to prescription drugs and painkillers are more common than we think. Its side effects can be extremely damaging. Expert Dr. Robert Puff says meditation will “increase your overall quality of life and break the habit through mindfulness.”

93. Less Somatic Stress

Living with somatic stress is hard. You focus on pain, weakness or shortness of breath, which results in even more stress. Meditation not only eases the pain but also re-directs your attention to block negative feelings caused by this fixation.

94. Better Posture

Meditation is not always about sitting on the floor with your back straight. However, as you meditate you become conscious of your body and what is potentially affecting your health, which in many cases is a hunchback.

95. Better Hygiene

Perhaps you’d never thought about it, but science has proven that meditation could be the best way to improve our personal and mental hygiene. The premise is very simple: meditation helps us weed out the unconscious movement that causes bad hygiene, for example, a finger in your nose.

96. Reduces Road Rage

Bad traffic brings out the Hulk within in many of us. While you are behind the wheel, it’s useful to meditate; concentrate on your breathing and on parts of your body to stop feeling angry and frustrated.

Productivity Benefits of Meditation

Young woman looking at the paintings in a museum with Dalai Lama's quote on meditation and production.

 

Stepping up your game has never been easier before! Meditation is a sought out solution by overstressed students and overloaded employees. Bad grades or paperwork won’t automatically disappear. Meditation actually teaches us how to respond efficiently to challenges and to develop skills for the work environment. Studies centered on work productivity linked meditation to….

97. Greater Creativity

There’s no need to be an art genius to be creative. Actually, the key of creativity lies on the connection between the brain’s hemispheres, the corpus callosum. Multiple studies have revealed that meditation makes the corpus callosum stronger and well connected.

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98. Enhances Decision-Making

The number of decisions an average person makes per day is 35,000. Studies have shown that regular meditators react rationally rather than emotionally when faced with challenging situations. Their quick thinking is largely focused on the “now.”27

99. Beats ADHD

Finding medicines and treatment for ADHD has been a struggle for science. Usually, medicines have side effects. Meditation helps in several ways, and of them is by helping ADHD sufferers fighting the impact of excessive adrenaline.

100. Assertiveness

Research carried out at Yale University found that meditation dials down activity in the default mode network (DMN), responsible for “monkey thoughts”, that useless information that blocks our assertiveness.28

101. Lengthens Attention Span

Adult minds can maintain focus for only 20 minutes. Science has proven that the brain’s hippocampus grows and thickens just after a couple of weeks of meditation. And the results? Better attention and focus.

102. Stronger Leadership

It’s not a surprise that successful business owners and CEOs meditate have incorporated the practice of meditation into their daily routines. A clear, intuitive and motivated mind has the power of making crucial decisions and influencing everyone around.

103. Heightened Work Performance

Who’s the brain’s CEO? The prefrontal cortex. With meditation, the prefrontal cortex grows thicker and creates new neural connections meaning more analytical and productivity skills to nail your job daily.

104. Betters your Ability to Multitask

Eight-weeks meditation studies proved that human resources managers who meditated were more efficient several tasks in 20 minutes than non-meditators. Why? Because meditation improves white matter efficiency around an area of the brain known as the anterior cingulate cortex. The anterior cingulate is in charge of self-regulating. By stimulating this area with meditation, you will likely combat deficit attention disorder and will complete multiple task at once.

105. Work Under Pressure

Racing to meet deadlines, excelling at meetings, etc…Not everyone can deliver their 100% under pressure. Thinking about the consequences of the future gives us anxiety. Meditation replaces stress and anxiety with stability and optimism.

106. Helps You Develop New Skills

In this competitive job market, developing professional skills to make us more employable is vital. By flexing the brain, mediation multiplies our ability to collect the information needed to develop brand-new skills.

107. Improves Teamwork

Success in the workplace depends on the efforts of a team, not just an individual. Researchers in a University of British Columbia study written by Lingtao Yu and Mary Zellmer-Bruhn found that the concepts of mindfulness and meditation can reduce disengagement in the workplace. Groups of colleagues who listen to a guided meditation recording together and engage in thorough discussions, grow empathetic towards each other and will work effectively as a team afterward.

108. Academic Performance

For many, the key to a memorable academic experience is finding that balance between social life and academic performance. If you are a student in need of an extra push to excel in your studies, meditation is the answer. When you incorporate meditation in your daily routine, understanding and assimilating information becomes much easier. Many studies have revealed an increase in academic performance in meditating students.

109. Better Communication

Communication, especially at work, is no piece of cake. We rush to finding solutions without really listening to others or our own ideas. Meditation stops this habit and helps us to sense, feel and share our ideas with clarity.

110. Negotiation Expertise

Negotiation is a winners’ skill and it’s possible to obtain it with meditation. Communication is often unconscious. Reading the “little signs” and vibes your boss or a potential client gives is crucial, and possible with an intuitive mind.

111. Boosts Psychomotor Vigilance

Science has proven that even novice meditators are able to boost their Psychomotor Vigilance (the speed at which a person reacts to visual stimuli) after just 40 minutes of meditation.29

112. Analytical Mind

Buddhist monks recommend analytic meditation on a daily basis. In this type of meditation, we need to meditation on the information accumulate by our minds from various sources and use reasoning to decode it. You can easily incorporate this kind of meditation at the workplace for greater analytical thinking, which will lead you to deconstruct the most complex problems.

113. Eliminates Winter Fatigue

The last weeks of winter are the hardest: a time where our productivity is at our lowest. As this is a mental state, meditation gives you that much-needed energy boost by keeping your mind and body active.

114. Rapid Memory Recall

Wouldn’t it be great if we could remember where we left the keys or yesterday’s news? Even light meditation increases your memory recall. Science believes that meditation can improve memory since, as we control our breathing, the brain switches to theta waves, releasing more electrical impulses.

115. Empathic Intelligence

Empathetic intelligence is what allows us to tune into another’s feelings. This kind of empathy, research argues, depends on the reading of our own bodies’ emotional signals, possible through meditation.

116. Improves Self-Awareness

The art of understanding ourselves through meditation aids us to identify what thoughts and characteristics suit us best. This is possible by calming the nervous system and expanding our self-awareness.

117. Cultivates Determination

The only way to achieve set goals and complete tasks in the workplace is through unbreakable determination. With visualization and self-acceptance, we cultivate the determination we need.

118. Attention to Detail

Our attention is fidgety, it “blinks” for half a second after we focus on an object, something called attention blink. Numerous studies have demonstrated that meditation increases our minds’ attention bandwidth.

119. Sleep Less

For those who would like less sleep hours, higher melatonin levels are needed. This chemical creates restful sleep and is boosted when you kill is No. 1 enemy: stress. Meditation increases melatonin by 98%.

120. Helps to Learn New Languages

The phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” cannot be farther from the truth. You can learn a language regardless of your age. After all, language learning depends on attention, focus and the ability to memorize vocabulary. Meditation improves the amount of gray matter in our brains, particularly in areas associated with memory and learning. So, the more you meditate, the more fit to acquire and retain new information you become.

Spiritual Benefits of Meditation

 

Philosophers, and theorists have described the human spirit to be the mental functions of understanding, judgment, insight, and awareness. In summary: what makes us us. Evidence documented for thousand years by scientist, religious leaders and philosophers link meditation with the improvement of personal qualities. Drifting into the space between our thoughts through meditation…

121. Generates Kindness

When we see somebody in a bad situation, we feel distressed but rarely act. Research from California State University concluded that those who received mindfulness meditation instruction developed kindness “allowing them to be present for the strangers they were witnessing being victimized.”

122. Makes You Happier

Sometimes, we don’t know what makes us truly happy. When we engage in a journey of self-discovery through meditation, we identify exactly what pleases us. According to psychologist Dr. Teresa Amabile, we are fulfilled when we do what we love most.

123. Improves Social Connection

There’s nothing more frustrating that the inability to connect with our social environment. Fortunately, researches of Neuroscientists in Leipzig discovered that training our minds with regular meditation improves our socio-emotional capacities.

124. Stable Personality

We tend to think about our own personality as a stable construct, which hardly changes. But, in fact, a recent study by researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen  suggests that meditation plays a key role in how we approach and experience life — influencing our sense of self or personality. The study found that meditation influences major personality traits such as extraversion, agreeableness, openness-to-experience and more.30

125. Maximizes Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence or simply EQ is the key to success and it’s also the capacity to understand and express our emotions wisely. Meditation gives you the weapons to manipulate this super ability. A study from investigators at The Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education found that school staff in California who practices meditation for 4 months had significant improvement in both emotional intelligence and stress.

126. Cultivates Patience

Patience is a virtue and can be cultivated through mindfulness. When we meditate, we have more clarity over problems and people; we understand which situations require our patience.

127. Less Bias

Biases or prejudices are what divides our society. They’re also tough nuts to crack. A study published in the journal Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice revealed less biased behaviors between groups from different backgrounds and concluded: “We see a general trend to treat people without preconceived notions—in a more fair and balanced way—after practicing mindfulness.”31 The practice of mindfulness meditation allows us to be more open-minded and to accept our differences.

128. The Law of Attraction

Neurologists state that “the ability to construct a hypothetical scenario in one’s imagination prior to it actually occurring may afford greater accuracy in predicting its eventual outcome.” This is also known as The Law of Attraction, which links positive thoughts to positive live experiences. Then, why isn’t everyone happy and successful? Because we lack attention focus and the ability to visualize and cleanse our minds. Such essential skills are maximized through meditation.

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129. Makes you More Open-minded

Through clear-seeing, we are able to relax, overcome emotional distress and fix our attention in the present. We achieve this through meditation and open our minds to possibilities and opportunities that used to frighten us.

130. Boosts Confidence

Confidence leads to happiness and success. Boosting confidence is possible when you connect with your intuition. In a place of mindfulness, we are able to unlock that “gut-feeling” to take major decisions.

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131. Attracts Love

As Santana said, you attract what you need. The emotional intelligence needed to generate empathy and feeling of closeness is developed through meditation. What’s more, we are able to identify which person is the One.

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132. More Spirituality

Many meditators have manifested greater connection with their faith. Spirituality comes in many forms, but a disciplined mind, focused thinking and the practice of visualizing the desired outcome are possible present in every concept of spirituality. All those factors are attainable with meditation.

133. Helps you Cope with Loss

Grief can keep us hostage in our own minds. Though the process of overcoming grief is hard, meditation can be effective. It helps us navigate our emotions rather than just burying them.

134. Better Visualization

The book 10-Minute Mindfulness by S.J.Scott and Barrie Davenport, says “the act of visualizing, which requires mindfulness, focus, and creativity, frees the mind from mental chatter and negativity.” Through regular meditation, visualization becomes easier.

135. Self-actualization

The Dalai Lama believes that “today” is the best moment to love, believe and live. With meditation, we gain insight and develop personal attributes that contribute to self-actualization into the best “me.”

136. Helps You to Stick to Your Resolutions

Can you count the number of unfilled resolutions in your life? Before you get too sad remember that meditation builds up gray matter in your brain, which regulates decision making, giving you the discipline to fulfill your goals.

137. Strengthens Bond with Loved Ones

Meditating is an effective way of reconnecting with friends, family, and partners. Research out of the Max Planck Institute in Germany proposes that people who meditate together feel closer and are more open with others.

138. Fosters Forgiveness

It’s not easy to let bygones be bygones. Harboring grudges generates emotional distress and negativity. We need to tame the anger and other emotions and identify where true happiness lies. Meditation is a great starting point.

139. Lucid Dreams

Our subconscious is the vault keeping everything we experience in life. This is later expressed through dreams we tend to forget. By exploring the deepest corners of your mind, meditation unlocks that secret vault.

140. More Synchronicity

Have you ever thought about somebody and gotten a call from them minutes later? That’s Synchronicity! Regardless of your beliefs, meditation will connect you to your intuition and the spiritual self, putting you on a synchronistic direction.

141. Inner-directness

Unlocking our intuition and understanding the unconscious provides us with direction when we lack control over our lives. As writer and expert meditator Rick Fields said, “when we pay attention, whatever we are doing…is transformed and becomes a part of our spiritual path.”

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142. Helps to Live in the Present Moment

When we spend time on To-do lists or recalling “the good ol’ times”, we distance ourselves from the present. The present can be a source of joy and learning. Meditation allows us to focus on our body and mind — becoming aware of our surrounding and making possible for us to appreciate the moment.

143. Increases Acceptance

Every person is worth of love and acceptance, but sometimes, it’s hard to love and accept ourselves. The first step to develop self-acceptance is becoming friends with your own self through meditation. In a deep state of meditation, you become connected with your spiritual center and aware of your many strengths.

144. Opens The Third Eye

The third eye or the sixth sense is believed to be an intuitive wisdom. A meditation-stimulated mind is capable of developing the third eye, which helps us to perceive things that aren’t obvious at first.

145. Closer to Nature

Mindfulness and guided audio meditation allows you to appreciate the small details of nature such as sound, smells, and images, which can enhance your attention and ability to conjure relaxing images.

Benefits for Children

A cute young girl alone smiling on the road surrounded by yellow fields with Plato's quote on training a child by amusement.

 

When thinking about children, we picture a noisy classrooms, walls with messy finger paints and color books. It’s difficult to imagine children and young people sitting in a straight position, blocking everything else with their minds. Meditation is not about taming children. Although there isn’t an abundant body of research compared to studies in adults, meditation can help children develop awareness about their emotions and activate their attention skills. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to share meditation with their children and teachers to incorporate mindfulness training into their lesson plans as it boosts…

146. Autonomy

UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center introduced a meditation program to preschool children and the results were incredible: their ability to organize and plan increased significantly.

147. Helps Children Control Aggression

Children can learn how to focus on a sound, image or thought at a time. By practicing meditation, our little ones can learn how to stay in the moment and identify negative emotions that lead to aggressiveness.

148. Helps Children with Cognitive Attention Deficit

With children living with their noses in smartphones, attention can’t keep up. Meditation teaches the greatness of focusing their attention on one thing at a time for better learning.

149. Increases Curiosity

“The reptilian brain” is that part of children’s and adults’ brains that only wants to deal with things crucial to our survival. Our reptilian brain is  a major obstacle for seeing things beyond. By taming the reptilian brain, children can unlock their curiosity.

150. Helps You Become A Better Mother

When we become mothers, the brain undergoes remodeling that allows us to tune into our intuition. At some stage, we run out of the genetic information we sorted and have to learn new skills. With mediation, we are able to retain our intuitive capacity.

Every year, research and scientific studies continue to discover more amazing benefits of meditation. With the time, our list will be longer! What remains clear is that meditation has the power of changing lives for the better. Regardless of your goal — losing weight, sleeping better or having a fantastic memory — meditation will give your life a 360-degree turn. And remember there’s no such a thing as a perfect meditation. As meditation is a skill we learn, dedication and regularity is what truly matters! It will pay back with a better health, productivity, happiness and even more countless benefits. So devote just a little bit of your time to meditation every day and start experiencing its amazing effects on your well-being.

References

[1]  How Does Meditation Reduce Anxiety at a Neural Level

[2] Curing Depression with Mindfulness Meditation

[3] This is Your Brain On Meditation

[4] Study: Meditation Stops Binge Eating by Nicole Niemiec

[5] The effectiveness of mindfulness training on reducing the symptoms of postpartum depression by Hajieh Sheydaei, Azizreza Ghasemzadeh, Amir Lashkari, and Parvaneh Ghorbani Kajani

[6] Mind-Body Connection During Meditation Can Now Be Measured, Thanks To Science

[7] Clinical Case Series: Treatment of PTSD With Transcendental Meditation in Active Duty Military Personnel

[8]  Loving-kindness meditation increases social connectedness by Hutcherson, C. A., Seppala, E. M., & Gross, J. J.

[9] Yoga, Meditation and Mind-Body Health: Increased BDNF, Cortisol Awakening Response, and Altered Inflammatory Marker Expression after a 3-Month Yoga and Meditation Retreat by B. Rael Cahn, Matthew S. Goodman, Christine T. Peterson, Raj Maturi,and Paul J. Mills

[10] Meditation and the Startle Response: A Case Study by Robert W. Levenson, Paul Ekman, and Matthieu Ricard

[11] Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density by Britta K. Hölzel, James Carmody, Mark Vangel, Christina Congleton, Sita M. Yerramsetti, Tim Gard, and Sara W. Lazara

[12] Mental training affects distribution of limited brain resources by Slagter HA, Lutz A, Greischar LL, Francis AD, Nieuwenhuis S, Davis JM, Davidson RJ
[13] The enhancement of visuospatial processing efficiency through Buddhist Deity meditation by Kozhevnikov M, Louchakova O, Josipovic Z, Motes MA

[14] How Meditation Enhances the Senses by Bess O’Connor

[15] Study offers insights into how yoga eases stress

[16] Relaxation & Guided Imagery Reduce Phantom Limb Pain by Belleruth Naparstek

[17] What Is the Molecular Signature of Mind–Body Interventions? A Systematic Review of Gene Expression Changes Induced by Meditation and Related Practices by Ivana Buric, Miguel Farias, Jonathan Jong, Christopher Mee and Inti A. Brazil

[18] Meditation Can Reduce Health Care Costs By Rick Nauert PhD

[19] Mindfulness meditation trims craving for tobacco: 60% reduction in smoking by The University of Oregon

[20] Meditation or Morphine? by the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine

[21] A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness by Kathleen Hall (2004) American Management Association

[22] Here’s How Meditation Helps With Weight Loss by Dina Kaplan

[23] Meditation for Addiction Recovery  by Anastasia Stephens

[24] Meditation for Migraines: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial by Rebecca Erwin Wells MD, MPH;  Rebecca Burch MD; Randall H. Paulsen MD; Peter M. Wayne PhD; Timothy T. Houle PhD; Elizabeth Loder MD, MPH

[25] Can Meditation Slow Rate of Cellular Aging? Cognitive Stress, Mindfulness, and Telomeres by Elissa Epel, Jennifer Daubenmier, Judith Tedlie Moskowitz, Susan Folkman, and Elizabeth Blackburn

[26] Meditation Helps Eating Disorder Recovery by Greta Gleissner LCSW

[27] Meditation Leads to Better Decision-Making by Mindful.org

[28] Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity by Judson A. Brewer, Patrick D. Worhunsky, Jeremy R. Gray, Yi-Yuan Tang, Jochen Weber, and Hedy Kober h

[29] Meditation acutely improves psychomotor vigilance, and may decrease sleep need, Prashant Kaul by Jason Passafiume, R Craig Sargent, Bruce F O’Har

[30] On the Relationship Between the Practice of Mindfulness Meditation and Personality—an Exploratory Analysis of the Mediating Role of Mindfulness Skills by Paul A. M. van den Hurk, Tom Wingens, Fabio Giommi, Henk P. Barendregt, Anne E. M. Speckens, and Hein T. van Schie h

[31] Three Ways Meditation Can Make You Less Bias