How Meditation Can Help Lower Stress and Improve Focus

Meditation is an excellent way to improve mental and physical health. An increasing number of studies are demonstrating that meditation has measurably positive effects on wellbeing, focus, energy, physical health and overall life satisfaction. The good news is that even 20 minutes of meditation a day can be all you need to do to start to notice appreciable benefits. Here is a guide to the benefits of meditation.

Meditation Is Open To Anyone

Meditation does not require being part of any spiritual group and can work for anyone who is willing to put in an effort and do their best. Even though meditation originated in Buddhism, Taoism and other Eastern philosophies, it does not require belief – it just requires practice. If you do it and experience significant positive effects, why not continue? Focusing one’s mind and not “identifying” with thoughts that come and go will begin to create a mental space and focal point of peace that one can return to throughout the day, even in stressful situations.¹

Meditation Melts Stress

The first big benefit of meditation is that it is a proven stress buster. If work, obligations, financial worries, health concerns or any other part of life has you on edge, just a small amount of meditation can leave you feeling calmer, more centered and able to face the challenges coming at you, or at least react to them in a measured and thought-out way.

The main reason meditation does this is that concentrating one’s mind and emptying it of analysis begins to reduce levels of the “stress hormone” called cortisol. Too much stress can add up and start to feed into a negative cycle in your body leading to all sorts of unpleasant issues from anxiety and depression to exhaustion. By contrast, meditation allows your body and mind to relax and re-center itself.²

Meditation Can Make You A Nicer Person

Modern life can often leave us feeling disconnected and alone—and meditation can help. Practicing meditation, especially what is known as metta or loving kindness meditation can increase your feelings of being connected to others and interested in their wellbeing. To put it simply, practicing meditation can make you a nicer person who starts caring more about others. This in turn can lead to happiness and satisfaction. Who doesn’t want that?³

Meditation Encourages Emotional Wellbeing

Another major plus of meditation is that it helps to create emotional wellbeing and a generally more optimistic and satisfied experience of life. In addition to increasing overall wellbeing, meditation can help those who are already suffering from depression, which can be a crippling illness that makes everything seem pointless and dark.⁴ Believe it or not, meditation has been proven to boost positive thinking, self-esteem and an optimistic personal perspective over time. It has demonstrated noticeably positive outcomes for people of all ages and interests.⁵

Meditation Helps People Beat Addictions

Addiction is an awful thing that can ruin hopes and dreams. If you are addicted or have a loved one who is it can be painful and heartbreaking to watch them struggle whether it is with drugs, alcohol, gambling or anything else. Meditation can help, and for this it may be especially worth looking at vipassana meditation.⁶

Pay Attention!

If you’ve ever been told to pay attention, then meditation could be just the thing for you. Meditation has been found to significantly improve peoples’ attention spans and ability to focus. Whether you want to stay more focused at work, are studying for a complicated test or find yourself getting distracted by worrisome thoughts, meditation can really help.⁷