10 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Meditation [Research List]
What does the newest research show about the (health) benefits of meditation? In this article you will find the greatest benefits and effects of meditation that have been scientifically proven.
There is plain scientific evidence about the effects of meditation
We are not talking here about anecdotal evidence that you hear so often, but clear scientific evidence, for example with brain scans carried out on people who meditate. The brain scans show that different compartments of the brain are going to work together in a coherent and organised way.
The left and right hemispheres also synchronize and become one. Because many more connections are made in the brain, stress and pain, for example, are easier to process.
Scientifically proven benefit 1 – Prevention of depression
In the University of Nijmegen, but also in Massachusetts and Baltimore, much scientific evidence has been found for the greatest benefit of meditating: the prevention and cure of depression.
Scientifically proven benefit 2 – Being able to control emotions
A 2012 study showed that meditating people create lasting emotional balance. This was one of the many advantages proven in Massachusetts. Therefore, this university is the place where the leader of the many research projects – Jon Kabat-Zinn – developed the 8-week mindfulness curriculum on the basis of these research projects.
Brain activity was lower in the part of the brain where emotions are regulated. When the world around you is going in all sorts of directions, and when all sorts of things happen – much like a storm – then your emotions don’t react to that storm. Meditating people do not let themselves be blown away in all directions in the storm, but remain powerful with their emotions where they want them to be.
Scientific proven benefit 3 – Developing compassion
A Boston study showed that short meditation increases your compassion ( empathy, solidarity, love) by 50%.
Scientifically proven benefit 4 – More focus and concentration
Among other things, Harvard University has shown that alpha waves in the brain increase due to meditation. This ensures that you can process information better and thus learn better. In this way, you are also more creative and use both hemispheres. Alpha waves also ensure that information which can distract you is filtered out.
Scientifically proven benefit 5 – Reduced scare reaction: less anxiety!
Lama Oser is known for his peaceful smile and he can often be found in the lab. He could control something no one else could do: his reaction of terror. Thanks to meditation, nothing can take him out of his relaxation. This is an advantage of meditation because there is a strong correlation between a shock reaction and anxiety. The less this frightening reaction, the less anxious you are. And fear is linked to countless conditions such as stress and depression.
Scientific proven benefit 6 – Stronger immune system
We are back at Jon Kabat-Zinn, who has conducted countless studies. He injected a number of participants of his meditation program with a virus. In this way he was able to measure the reaction of the immune system of these people. The participants in the meditation program proved that their immune system was stronger and recovered more than non-participants.
Scientific proven benefit 7 – Less anxiety
In Jon Kabat-Zinn‘s research, he proved that people who meditate suffer less from anxiety than the control group. These results came out after just a few weeks.
Scientific proven benefit 8 – Lower blood pressure
Many people suffer from high blood pressure. This increases your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, heart failure or kidney disease. The University of Kentucky showed that Transcendent Meditation lowers your blood pressure by leaps and bounds.
Scientific proven benefit 9 – Less loneliness
Lonely feelings can be detrimental to our mental and physical health. J. David Creswell showed that daily meditation can lower the sense of loneliness by leaps and bounds.
Scientific proven benefit 10 – Better sleep
Some time ago, a survey was carried out among people with sleeping problems. This research showed that meditation improves the quality of sleep and the number of hours of sleep. This had also improved the quality of life during the day.