What happens when we meditate regularly?
Regular meditation allows us to shift from a ‘reactive’ to ‘responsive’ mode in life and establish mindfulness, because it shifts the physiology of the body, and in particular, the physiological stress responses that are triggered through reactive patterns. Prolonged stress or ‘high vigilance’ can establish when we are not present to ourselves, and the truth of what we are experiencing. It has hugely detrimental effects on our chemistry, cellular regeneration capabilities, cognitive function and mood. Regular meditators have markedly less stress hormone levels in their bloodstreams generally. This evidences a calmer, more measured approach to stimuli.
Regular meditation generates a pause point between our state of awareness and our interface with life. This carved inner space allows for mindful choices, which in turn, reduces reactive stress responses. This furthermore deepens our capacity to make lifeward choices. A beautiful virtuous cycle establishes when we meditate regularly.
There is a large body of credible research today, into the many benefits of regular meditation and mindfulness. Below is a summary of the more interesting findings. This fascinating area is covered more extensively in my courses and programs, along with tools and support to help you establish your pause point and a default state of presence.
Changes in the brain and nervous system of regular meditators
- Slowing and synchronisation of brain waves that correlate with relaxed wakefulness, creativity and intuition.
- Integration of the left and right hemispheres representing a synchronisation of the logical with the intuitive.
- Decreased limbic arousal in the brain, resulting in reduced stress and increased stability to stress.
- Synchronisation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system occurs during meditation and allows the natural bio-rhythm of the body to reestablish.
- Better memory and recall functions, mental clarity and concentration for mental and physical tasks.
- Increased activity in the part of the brain responsible for emotional processing, memory and learning.
Changes in the body
- Lower blood pressure, better heart health, oxygenated blood and lower levels of stress-related chemicals in the blood.
- Stemming of the ageing process and an increase in immune-cell longevity.
- Relief from insomnia, chronic pain, migraines and headaches.
- Assisted healing after injury or trauma.
- We know that meditation helps overcome depression and calms anxiety.
- It engenders greater compassion, a sense of interconnectedness, self-esteem and resilience.
- It strengthens interpersonal communication and emotional growth.
- Psychological research shows decreased anger arousal in high-anger situations.
- It reduces feelings of loneliness in older adults.
- Meditation is used successfully in overcoming addictions.
Now that you know about the benefits of meditating regularly, why don’t you get started today! For the same daily commitment of time that it takes to make a pot of coffee because you haven’t slept, or tail-spin over a thoughtless statement someone made, or work out an apology for an angry outburst, or medicate a persistent health issue, or remember the name of your child’s teacher, or calm yourself down from a panic attack…you could be establishing the pathway to a healthy, purpose-led and empowered life!
If you wish to start meditation and understand the benefits of meditating regularly do get in touch and take our introduction to meditation course – Return. You can also visit our website to explore courses and useful content to guide you along your journey to healing, self-discovery and mindful living.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.