You may be familiar with how meditation can positively impact your emotional wellbeing. Did you know that when you reduce stress, mitigate symptoms of depression, and feel less anxious you do your physical health a favor, too? The physical benefits of meditation can be equally as impactful as the emotional benefits.
Improves pain tolerance
When included as part of a comprehensive pain management program, the physical benefits of meditation emerge. While not a cure, according to a 2020 study, meditation does reduce post-surgical, acute, and chronic pain. The interconnectedness of emotional and physical wellbeing and how each impacts the other is noted in this dual impact benefit.
Brain receptors are largely responsible for the addiction battles many people face. Mindfulness training may prevent relapses for those struggling with addiction disorders by changing the way the brain responds to triggers according to a 2018 study published in Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation. Physical and emotional resilience is helpful for anyone recovering from or battling an addiction.
When your brain is less active and distracted, you are more likely to sleep better. One of the physical benefits of meditation is observed in how it promotes relaxation and preparation for sleep. Learning to control ruminating thoughts may help you fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly, stay asleep longer, and improve the severity of insomnia.
Decreases blood pressure
Another of the physical benefits of meditation is its ability to decrease blood pressure, both during meditation and afterwards. Meditation reduces strain on the heart. Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder, causing physical damage to this vital organ. A meta-analysis of a dozen studies provided evidence that meditation helps reduce blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
Stronger immune system
Regular meditation seems to improve immune function, a finding supported by a University of Wisconsin study in 2003. Improving the immune system is another of the significant physical benefits of meditation because it helps fight disease and protect the body. More significantly, the impact isn’t temporary. It also produces lasting changes in the physical structure of the brain.
Boosted memory retention
With changes to the physical structure of the brain, memory retention is improved. Particularly impactful for those who are already experiencing cognitive decline or early-stage dementia, regular meditation can help boost the brain and memory function. Just 20 minute a day is enough to make an impact on the brain and memory retention.
Female health support
Another of the physical benefits of meditation that’s equally impactful as the emotional benefits is the reduction of symptoms associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle. Better pain tolerance and emotional resilience were supported by a study from the University of North Carolina. Women who regularly practice mindfulness also appear to be more accepting of their bodies in general.
The physical benefits of meditation are observable with both research and anecdotal evidence. When combined with the emotional benefits, meditation is a good way to improve your overall wellbeing for a happier and healthier life.