Meditation is an ancient practice that’s making a comeback. Meditation involves consciously focusing your mind on the present moment in an effort to become a more peaceful, clear and focused.
Meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time. There are various techniques and variations of meditation. The most common and simple type of meditation is called mindfulness meditation. The goal of mindfulness meditation is to be mindful of your surroundings.
Here’s how to practice mindfulness meditation:
10-20 minutes per day
Research has shown that meditation decreases cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. One study looking at 1300 adults showed that those with the highest stress levels experienced the largest reduction in stress from meditation . According to research, meditation decreases the size of an area of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for stress, anxiety, and fear .
Meditation may be able to help fight addictions. Research has shown that because meditation increases willpower and helps one control their emotional impulses, it may, therefore, be an effective way to help people understand their addictive traits , .
New research has shown that meditation may help to prevent the early onset of age-related cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. One review of the current evidence concluded that 12 minutes of meditation per day may improve memory in people with cognitive decline and impairment . The exact reason why it works isn’t fully understood yet.
Studies looking at compassion meditation showed that it can help to improve "empathic accuracy" by causing changes to areas of the brain associated with empathy and human connection .
Once or more per day
Meditation has a lot of benefits, however, it can also have adverse effects for some people.
Although severe side effects from meditating are relatively uncommon, they may still occur, especially in those with underlying psychological issues.
You can meditate anytime you want. Most people anecdotally report that meditating early in the morning or late at night works best.