The Many Benefits of Meditation

Help Yourself Thrive with This Practice


Haley Longfellow, Editorial Board

Upon hearing the word ‘meditation’, many people instinctively envision a person humming to themselves with their eyes gently closed, completely at peace. Others are reminded of the role that the practice plays in religions such as Buddhism. Siddhartha Gautama debuted Buddhism after becoming enlightened by way of meditation, and the practice holds spiritual significance for many people.

For others, meditation has become an effective tool for living a healthier, happier life. Supposedly, the practice has the ability to change the structure of the brain, promoting positivity and mindfulness.

Studies have shown that meditation can alter how the brain registers feelings. Many meditators have experienced less of an impact from stress, depression, insomnia, and anxiety as well as better focus and memory.

Furthermore, studies have shown that meditation poses physical benefits. It can minimize chronic pain as well as symptoms of conditions such as high blood pressure. One study even showed that breast cancer survivors that meditated had longer telomeres, which are associated with longevity.

This may all sound far-fetched, but it is important to keep in mind the fact that meditation is a relatively easy thing to practice. Meditating for just five minutes a day could provide incredible benefits! News anchor Dan Harris could have never imagined himself meditating, but he wound up reaping many benefits from the practice, and he even wrote a book about it. Since Oakton has been described as such a high-pressure environment, students should seriously consider trying out meditation.

Photo Courtesy of Third Factor