In an age where the world is at our fingertips 24/7, it’s easy for our minds and bodies to be on digital overload. Distractions from our desktops, laptops, and smartphones can rob us from something we all need once in a while: a moment of silence. Disconnecting from the world and quieting our minds with meditation may help us recharge our physical, emotional, and mental health.
In the infographic "What Will Happen If You Start Meditating,” Live and Dare blogger Giovanni Dienstmann has summarized over 3,000 scientific discoveries on the benefits of meditation. Some studies suggest meditating just 20 minutes per day for a few weeks is enough to start experiencing its benefits, including boosting immunity and reducing stress.
A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found meditation training can boost antibody levels — proteins produced by the body's immune system when it detects antigens (harmful substances) — in just eight weeks. Meditation increases activity in the prefrontal cortex, the right anterior insula, and right hippocampus; all parts that control positive emotion, awareness, and anxiety. These brain regions also act as a command center for the immune system, so when stimulated, they help it function more effectively. This suggests a short training program in mindful meditation has demonstrable effects on the brain and immune function.
Inevitably, meditation is touted for its stress-reducing benefits. A study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found some mindfulness training goes a long way when it comes to quieting the mind during stressful situations. Participants who completed mindfulness training were less likely to show signs of stress during stress-inducing tasks, such as completing speech or math tests in front of "stern-faced evaluators."
Although perceived stress levels were low, cortisol production was high, but researchers suggest it's all about learning to cognitively work at it first. The automatic mindfulness that comes from meditating over a long period of time will most likely reduce cortisol levels and boost self-awareness and satisfaction.
Remember: although there are a million things that can get in the way of daily meditation, taking time aside every day for twenty minutes or more, can heal your mind, body, and soul.
Check out the rest of meditations benefits in the infographic down below: