3 Science-Backed Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation
If you watched CNN’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election, you were treated to one of the more lighthearted moments of the entire campaign season — when an ad from meditation and wellness app Calm appeared on the screen.
As anchors on the network breathlessly spoke about the incoming results from various key races around the country, the Calm app ad might’ve given you a reason to smile. You were reminded that, even in the midst of what was a very high-stakes election, you can set aside time for your mental health.
Indeed, it is a good reminder for us all.
Burnout is a very real phenomenon. In fact, the World Health Organization and International Labour Organization conducted a study that uncovered the following truly disturbing findings:
...found that nearly half a billion people were exposed to overwork (more than 55 hours a week) and three-quarters of a million died from it in 2016, through coronary heart disease and strokes brought on by stress and unhealthy coping mechanisms (alcohol, poor eating, reduced sleep and exercise, etc.) Overwork kills more than malaria and about as much as suicide.
Sadly, overwork and burnout are being experienced by so many people at this time that companies have felt the need to step in and try to do something to curb it.
A few examples of efforts that companies are making to try to curb the existence of burnout in the workplace include:
These are just some examples of how workplaces attempt to step up to help their employees, and these are a great start. The emphasis on meditation and mindfulness, in particular, seems like a move in the right direction.
That’s because mindfulness and meditation have scientifically proven positive effects on your health. But no matter whether you’re in the office or at home, you can still set aside time to practice mindfulness and meditation.
Not only will it help you prevent burnout, but it will provide you with a whole host of other mental health benefits.
There’s a reason why so many mindfulness and meditation apps, like Calm, have taken the world by storm. It’s because there are true health benefits to practicing meditation techniques.
The stress hormone, known as cortisol, is released in response to situations that should genuinely cause stress in one's life.
Historically, this meant situations in which one's life could be in danger. However, the stress in today’s world is often brought on by many other causes — like financial struggles, marital difficulties, a death in the family, or even other mental issues like depression or anxiety.
In short, stress can come from many sources, and cortisol levels can remain highly elevated in many individuals. Those levels may increase further when they are subjected to overly burdensome workloads.
Meditation helps bring down cortisol levels and allows the body to regulate the tension and stress that it is experiencing. The results can be felt almost immediately for many, and continued practice makes the impacts even stronger.
People don't pay the same amount of attention to their emotional health as they do to their physical health. However, physical and mental health play into one another and are impossible to untangle. Meditation and mindfulness exercises can improve both mental and physical health, leading to better health overall.
In terms of mental health, depression is one emotional issue that meditation has some proven positive impacts on. That is to say that those who practice meditation may find a reduction in depressive episodes and/or symptoms.
This does not mean that meditation alone can cure depression, but it can provide some much-needed relief to sufferers.
We live in a world of constant distractions, and it seems like there’s always something that needs our attention. It makes sense, then, that our attention spans could use some room for improvement. If you’re looking to improve your attention span, meditation can help.
Meditation gives you a unique opportunity to step back from the constant grind of your day to recognize that you may need to slow down and take in more of the views around you.
It takes consistent meditation practice to start to develop an improved attention span, but it is certainly a long-term benefit of practicing meditation.
You may have noticed a lot more stores in your area advertising CBD and essential oils.
After the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD became a legal product to sell as far as the federal government was concerned. Nearly every state in the country (with a few exceptions) now permits the sale of CBD within their borders.
If you haven't tried CBD yet, you should stop by your local pharmacy and ask your pharmacist whether or not it’s a good choice for you.
Many users say that CBD aids them in their meditation practices. The chemical reaction between their brains and the CBD allows them to more fully relax and get into the practice of meditation in the way that it is intended to be practiced.
In fact, some say that it has helped them stay the course of meditation and start to realize more and more of the benefits of this practice.
Not sure where you can track down CBD? Consult our RxLocal Pharmacy Finder to find a pharmacy in your area that carries CBD — safely and legally — and start seeing the science-backed benefits of mindfulness and meditation.