21 Reasons Why Successful People Meditate

21 Reasons Why Successful People Meditate

by -
Russell Brand Meditation

A little over a year ago I was fortunate enough to learn Transcendental Meditation while I was staying in LA. I was very close minded about Meditation and felt that I was able to manage my day to day life just find without it. My fiance’ Charlene insisted that I give it a try, even if I just try it one time. So I did, and I am so happy I followed it through.

I have been meditating twice a day, ever since, and the benefits are  amazing and very evident when it comes to a positive change in mood/focus and energy.

I discovered this great article on Huffington Post about the benefits of meditation and thought that it would be a great read for all of those who are looking at getting a handle on their mental and physical balance.

 

1. It lowers stress – literally

Research published just last month in the journal Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it’s also linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

 

2. It makes your brain plastic

Quite literally, sustained meditation leads to something called neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brain’s ability to change, structurally and functionally, on the basis of environmental input.

For much of the last century, scientists believed that the brain essentially stopped changing after adulthood.

But research by University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has shown that experienced meditators exhibit high levels of gamma wave activity and display an ability — continuing after the meditation session has attended — to not get stuck on a particular stimulus. That is, they’re automatically able to control their thoughts and reactiveness.

 

3. It lets us get to know our true selves

Mindfulness can help us see beyond those rose-colored glasses when we need to really objectively analyze ourselves.

A study in the journal Psychological Science shows that mindfulness can help us conquer common “blind spots,” which can amplify or diminish our own flaws beyond reality.

 

4. It can make your grades better

Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that college students who were trained in mindfulness performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE, and also experienced improvements in their working memory.

“Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with widereaching consequences,” the researchers wrote in the Psychological Science study.

 

5. It improves performance and ability

The U.S. Marine Corps is in the process of seeing how mindfulness meditation training can improve troops’ performance and ability to handle — and recover from — stress.

 

6. It could help people with arthritis better handle stress

A 2011 study in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Disease shows that even though mindfulness training may not help to lessen pain for people with rheumatoid arthritis, it could help to lower their stress and fatigue.

 

7. It changes the brain in a protective way

University of Oregon researchers found that integrative body-mind training — which is a meditation technique — can actually result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region.

 

8. It works as the brain’s “volume knob”

Ever wondered why mindfulness meditation can make you feel more focused and zen? It’s because it helps the brain to have better control over processing pain and emotions, specifically through the control of cortical alpha rhythms (which play a role in what senses our minds are attentive to), according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

 

9. It makes music sound better

Mindfulness meditation improves our focused engagement in music, helping us to truly enjoy and experience what we’re listening to, according to a study in the journal Psychology of Music.

 

10. It has four elements that help us in different ways

The health benefits of mindfulness can be boiled down to four elements, according to a Perspectives on Psychological Science study: body awareness, self-awareness, regulation of emotion and regulation of attention.

 

11. It helps us even when we’re not actively practicing it

You don’t have to actually be meditating for it to still benefit your brain’s emotional processing. That’s the finding of a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which shows that the amygdala brain region’s response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation, and this effect occurs even when a person isn’t actively meditating.

 

The Positive Benefits of Meditation

 

12. It could make going through cancer just a little less stressful

Research from the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine shows that mindfulness coupled with art therapy can successfully decrease stress symptoms among women with breast cancer. And not only that, but imaging tests show that it is actually linked with brain changes related to stress, emotions and reward.

 

13. It could help doctors be better at his/her job

Doctors, listen up: Mindfulness meditation could help you better care for your patients. Research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that doctors who are trained in mindfulness meditation are less judgmental, more self-aware and better listeners when it comes to interacting with patients.

 

14. It makes you a better person

Sure, we love all the things meditation does for us. But it could also benefit people we interact with, by making us more compassionate, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science.

Researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities found that meditation is linked with more virtuous, “do-good” behavior.

 

15. It could help the elderly feel less lonely

Loneliness among seniors can be dangerous, in that it’s known to raise risks for a number of health conditions. But researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that mindfulness meditation helped to decrease these feelings of loneliness among the elderly, and boost their health by reducing the expression of genes linked with inflammation.

 

16. It lowers depression risk among pregnant women

As many as one in five pregnant women will experience depression, but those who are at especially high risk for depression may benefit from some mindfulness yoga.

“Research on the impact of mindfulness yoga on pregnant women is limited but encouraging,” study researcher Dr. Maria Muzik, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, said in a statement. “This study builds the foundation for further research on how yoga may lead to an empowered and positive feeling toward pregnancy.”

 

17. It could make your health care bill a little lower

Not only will your health benefit from mindfulness meditation training, but your wallet might, too.

Research in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows that practicing Transcendental Meditation is linked with lower yearly doctor costs, compared with people who don’t practice the meditation technique.

 

18. It comes in handy during cold season

Aside from practicing good hygiene, mindfulness meditation and exercise could lessen the nasty effects of colds.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health found that people who engage in the practices miss fewer days of work from acute respiratory infections, and also experience a shortened duration and severity of symptoms.

 

19. It also lowers depression risk among teens

Teaching teens how to practice mindfulness through school programs could help them experience less stress, anxiety and depression, according to a study from the University of Leuven.

 

20. It helps you sleep better

We saved the best for last! A University of Utah study found that mindfulness training can not only help us better control our emotions and moods, but it can also help us sleep better at night.

“People who reported higher levels of mindfulness described better control over their emotions and behaviors during the day. In addition, higher mindfulness was associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress,” study researcher Holly Rau said in a statement.

 

21. It supports your weight-loss goals

Trying to shed a few pounds to get to a healthier weight? Mindfulness could be your best friend, according to a survey of psychologists conducted by Consumer Reports and the American Psychological Association.

Mindfulness training was considered an “excellent” or “good” strategy for weight loss by seven out of 10 psychologists in the survey.

 

Meditation Quote

 

Article originally appeared on: Huffington Post

I am the the CEO and Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 60 million lives in the last 4 and a half years.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Great information, have only tried once since reading this (earlier today) and feel a little bit more in control. Running your own business can be over whelming at times and the opportunities which you created yesterday can be missed today because your head is all over the place. So far, much better than coffee.
    Great article,
    Thank you

  2. I meditate and have been for the last few months straight. I love it and actually love doing it in the morning. I started using something called ‘headspace’ and it is awesome for simple guided meditations.

    Thanks A2S!

  3. To start meditation is very easy. You don’t have to go to some place or club or group to start. You don’t have to wear coloured robes or get funny haircuts or wear beads. You don’t have to look at deities , breath in a special way or say stuff over and over in your mind. You don’t have to pay anyone to learn to meditate.

    If you are a type of person that can’t go on a diet without doing it with someone else or need the social interaction of belonging to a gym to get motivation to train etc , then yes , go and find some Guru or place where you can meditate together.

    But the reality is all you have to do is sit down on the floor cross legged and close your eyes. Keep your back straight but without forcing it too much. Try resting your hands on your knees. If you have back trouble etc, just sit in a chair. Don’t try to breath more deeply , just let it happen. Just let your thoughts come and go. With time you will find that you don’t have to forcefully try remove unwanted thoughts or day dreaming. Ideally aim for about 1 hour. I have meditative type trance music like Steve Roach in the background. I know the CD is about an hour long long so when the music stops, you session is finished. When you start you won’t be able to (well most people anyway) sit for that long without the discomfort getting to you, sore buttocks, numbness in feet and so forth.

    That is why they invented yoga and kung fu to toughen and stretch the body so the physical body could stay in the lotus meditation position longer. For those really wanting to get the most of meditation, sit in the lotus position. Anatomically, it switches blood supply from femoral artery and sends more blood to the brain…

    How do you know when you are really in a deep meditative state. Get one finger now and block one nostril and breath and then do the other side. You will find that one side is more blocked than the other. In 2 hours time or so, it will switch around. This is normal. When you have reached a certain point in meditation, you will feel both nostrils suddenly open up as if you have suddenly cleared your sinuses, At the same time you feel centred , clear, relaxed etc all at the same time, and your breathing will automatically just be relaxingly deep .

    If you need an excuse and motivation to start meditation, remember all the great success books, Think and Grow Rich, Dale Carnegie, and numerous other “successful” people all talk about focusing and visualising your goals, and developing concentrating, being decisive etc. You can tell yourself to ” concentrate better” or be “decisive” all that you want, but if your constitution and brain power is lacking, you will never get it. But luckily meditation will build that mental strength. Some people will say, I can’t meditate because my mind is too busy etc. That makes as much sense as saying, I won’t take up running because I am not fit or I won’t start saving money because I am broke.

    If you have enough strength to just make one decision, decide to give up 1 hour of TV or checking emails and meditate each night instead.

  4. I meditate every night before I go to bed. I find it’s not about just letting go of the stress from your day and life, but to reconnect with yourself and have some nice one-on-one time.

  5. I think it’s more than obvious that meditation, yoga, workout, and eating healthy foods can help you chase your vision x1000 times more than avoiding them. Everybody knows that, we all know the benefits, and yet we don’t do it. It’s like people don’t want happiness.

    Read this post, remember it, bookmark it, and wherever you feel anxious, sad, tired, just re-read it again and start meditating. It’s very easy sometimes.

    • Hi Jazzel, Here’s one way to meditate. Sit quietly and comfortably. Focus on your breath going in and out. As thoughts come – as they inevitably will – simply notice that you’ve had a thought, then get back to concentrating on your breath. Do for 10 minutes per day. Simple but not easy!

  6. Hey Joel,

    Thanks for sharing, and also glad to hear you’re meditating daily! I’m a big believer in the power of meditation, especially for us entrepreneurs who can easily burn out if we don’t get that much needed down time to defrag our minds! I’ve found it’s made a huge difference for me too and certainly helps maintain a longer term focus… It’s totally worth the time investment!

    Thanks again 🙂

Leave a Reply