As emerging scientific research continues to show us the positive impacts of meditation and mindfulness, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that these practices are important not just for our day-to-day stress levels, but also for our long term, overall health. This is why more and more companies are starting to integrate meditation and mindfulness offerings into their employee benefits packages as a means of reducing stress, and protecting the longterm health of their teams.
Here are just a few reasons why everyone should be meditating:
Mindfulness Helps Boost Brain Health
The first body part you might expect to benefit from meditation is your brain, and meditation definitely delivers on this point. Meditation has been shown to boost memory, improve cognitive function, and help your brain’s ability to regulate emotion. Although researchers are still figuring out exactly why this is, preliminary research points to the fact that meditation actually increases the volume in areas of the brain associated with things like stress, learning, memory, and compassion.
It Can Also Reduce Inflammation in the Entire Body
Inflammation is at the root of many different diseases, especially chronic illnesses like autoimmune disease and arthritis—diseases which are unfortunately affecting millions of people today. Of course, inflammation is not always a bad thing; it’s our body’s response to an unknown or unwanted pathogen, which means that sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. However, because of today’s stressful society and the toxins we are surrounded by every day in our environment and food, chronic inflammation has become a serious issue for many people. The good news is that meditation has been shown to actually decrease your body’s inflammatory response, leaving you less likely to develop or exacerbate an inflammation-related disease or illness.
Meditation for Immunity
While meditation can reduce unneeded inflammation, it can also help increase your body’s ability to fight an actual infection. So the next time you feel like you’re fighting a cold, don’t skimp on your meditation practice!
It Can Help Reduce Cravings and Make Healthy Eating Easier
We all know that we should eat healthier… but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Not only is sugar physiologically addictive, but overeating is a common way that many people deal with stress. Mindfulness and meditation not only bring your awareness back to the present moment so you don’t ‘accidentally’ down an entire bag of chips, but it also provides a healthier alternative to dealing with stress so that you’re less likely to binge.
And Fight Aging, Too
Is meditation the true fountain of youth?! Not only does meditation reduce the risk of things like heart disease, stroke, and cancer, but it can also decrease the biomarkers of early aging. Although more research is needed in this area as well, this is most likely also linked to the way that meditation reduces stress.
Chronic pain is another increasingly challenging problem for many Americans. Not only is chronic pain incredibly difficult to deal with, but it also puts many at risk for opioid addiction. Mindfulness meditation has been found to effectively help to reduce pain, while actually bypassing the opioid receptors in the brain.
Less Stress = Better Overall Health
Stress is linked to so many different diseases and potential health problems. In fact, a Stanford University Medical School study released in 1998 by Dr. Bruce Lipton state that 95% of modern disease is either caused, triggered, or exacerbated by stress. Since meditation can have such a great impact on stress, it can help prevent and manage a whole host of health issues, from heart disease to obesity to Alzheimer’s. For this reason, managing stress through mindfulness and meditation can drastically improve your health on a holistic level.
Mediation Can Change the World
Many of the world's most successful business leaders swear by daily meditation. Some have even built mindfulness curriculum into their company's employee offerings, affecting positive change at a global level. Perhaps you're a business leader yourself—looking to empower your teams and build their resilience?
At Wisdom Labs, we've built a scalable, cost-effective, and work-focused solution that integrates mindfulness and meditation into your company's culture. With Wise@Work Communities, your organization can be on the fast track to increased engagement and better health. Interested in learning more?