If you have ever been interested in the meditationYou will have noticed that it is a practice that the fruits are not harvested overnight. Meditating takes months of practice, persistence, and while it may not seem like very demanding physically, it takes effort, too.
Add to this the fact that the supposed benefits of meditation are not always well substantiated empirically and sometimes consist of simple New Age proclamations, it is not uncommon for some to give up after the first few days of practice, exhausted. and demotivated by the apparent lack of immediate incentives.
However, among the oceans of opinions and value judgments about meditation some scientific publications can also be found which serve to shed light on the subject that everyone wants to know: what are the benefits of meditation that have a scientific basis?
Some benefits of meditation are probably there
Although meditation was spawned in a philosophy and culture far removed from Western rationalism, some studies show possible effects of meditation, possibly due to its possible therapeutic application at very low prices. Here are some of those possible benefits of meditation that are supported by scientific research groups.
However, it should be noted that these scientific papers are used to describe the correlations and give them an interpretation, even if we don’t quite know how the changes occur in our bodies through these centuries-old practices.
1. Reduces the effects of stress
Some research indicates that the continued practice of meditation helps combat stress and its side effects. For example, a study of cancer patients published data on improvement not only in terms of stress, but also in terms of symptoms of depression, confusion and other scales, in both men and women.
2. It could have positive effects on the immune system
It has been proven that a number of volunteers participating in a mindfulness program have developed more antibodies to the flu, which means that one of the benefits of meditation may impact the immune system. The article was published in Psychosomatic Medicine.
3. Improves attention span
This has been proven in multitasking tests (doing several things at once) and in a study of the attentional blink, which occurs when a stimulus is eclipsed by another preceding it with little time between them and therefore the individual. only the first one achieves. People who meditated showed reduced attentional blinking, which means they learned to better manage the brain resources on which attention depends.
4. It is useful for empathizing and connecting with others.
Another likely benefit of meditation is the relationship with others. A few minutes of meditation have proven to be effective in predisposing to closer personal contact with strangers.
5. Increases pain tolerance
Four days of mindfulness have been shown to be sufficient to reduce the sensation of pain and produce changes in brain structures associated with pain processing.
6. Improves memory and other cognitive functions
A few mindfulness sessions can improve working memory and visuospatial processing.
7. Improves the appearance of positive thoughts
Among the benefits of meditation, we should not miss the one that affects positive psychology, one of the currents most used by relaxation practices. Certain types of meditation have been helpful in warding off inappropriate beliefs, maintaining meaningful habits, and generally thinking positively.
- DeRose, master (1995). Advanced Yoga, Swásthya Yoga Shástra. Buenos Aires: Deva’s from Longseller.
- Jung, Carl Gustav (2008). Complete work: Volume 11. On the psychology of Western religion and Eastern religion. XIV. On the psychology of oriental meditation (1943/1948). Madrid: Trot.