top of page

10 Science-Backed Benefits Of Meditation ~ Forbes Magazine Article

When feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or stress, it can be hard to ground yourself or focus on a task. Although stress and anxiety are normal—and biologically necessary responses in certain situations—experiencing them on a regular basis can pose a risk to your health.

Meditation, though, can help. Read on to learn more about what meditation is and what health benefits it can provide.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a mind-body practice in which your attention is focused on being mindful of the present, your breath, and your mind to promote awareness, cultivate well-being and reduce stress and anxiety. It comes in many forms and can be practiced almost anywhere, so long as you can be aware of your body and surroundings.

Types of meditation vary throughout each person’s practice and can include breathing-based meditation, mindfulness practices, nature-based visualization, mantra, and spiritual meditation.

“There is no right or wrong way to do meditation. Any activity can be meditative if we’re fully present,” says Sarah Meyer Tapia, a meditation coach, associate director of Health & Human Performance, and head of Wellness Education at Stanford University. “Meditation is to be present and know what we are doing, while we are doing it.”

Meditation tends to be something we feel we have to make time for, she adds, and instead, recommends taking as little or as much time as your mental energy allows to pivot away from distractions.

Health Benefits of Meditation

Meditation can improve your quality of life thanks to its many psychological and physical benefits.

Here are 10 science-backed benefits of meditation:

Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-based interventions, such as meditation, have been shown to improve mental health, specifically in the area of stress, according to a study in the Clinical Psychology Review. When faced with a difficult or stressful moment, our bodies create cortisol, the steroid hormone responsible for regulating stress and our natural fight-or-flight response, among many other functions. Chronic stress can cause sustained and elevated levels of cortisol, which can lead to other negative effects on your health, including cardiovascular and immune systems and gut health. Meditation, which focuses on calming the mind and regulating emotion, can help to reduce chronic stress in the body and lower the risk of its side effects.