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Meditation: Meaning, Benefits and Importance

a vector image of meditation meaning and benefits
Samyak Lalit
Samyak Lalit | February 1, 2023 (Last update: February 3, 2023)

Samyak Lalit is an author and disability rights activist. He is a polio survivor and the founder of projects like Kavita Kosh, Gadya Kosh, TechWelkin, WeCapable, Dashamlav and Viklangta Dot Com. Website: www.lalitkumar.in

Undoubtedly, you must have some preconceived notion about meditation. We hear this word so frequently that we all have created some impression about the practice of meditation in our minds. Whatever your mental picture about meditation, one thing is for sure – the practice of meditation is beneficial for all. By ‘all’ we mean all the persons with or without disabilities.

Meditation has been a point of curiosity and attraction for researchers for a very long time. And, every study conducted around meditation has shown positive results on the practitioners of meditation regardless of the technique being used. Though meditation is beneficial for all, you must include it in your routine if you are living with any form of disability. In this write-up, we have listed the benefits of meditation on mental and physical health to provide you with concrete reasons for starting meditation.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the process of training our minds to focus and redirect our thoughts. The techniques we use for the purpose of training our mind to focus and redirect when distracted may vary from each other. Someone might focus on their breathing pattern, some may use a specified breathing technique, some may close their eyes and rely on the body scan method while some may use an object like a burning candle to focus their mind or some may also use some chanting for the purpose. Techniques of meditation may vary but the end goal is the same – slowing down the mental chatter and focusing the attention on one particular point.

Despite the technique being used, meditation has a significant impact on our mental health and can also reflect on our physical health.

Benefits of Meditation

Let us see what benefits we can expect by making meditation a regular part of our daily routine.

1. Reduction in Stress

Stress is said to be an inevitable part of modern lifestyle and hence we all need something that helps us cope with our stress. Persons with disabilities are more prone to physical and mental stress. During periods of stress, the body releases hormones that cause inflammation and may aggravate many symptoms for some people with disability. Meditation helps in reducing stress and the resultant negative impacts on the body.

Meditation reduces stress and improves the symptoms of many stress-related conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, etc.

2. Reduction in the Levels of Anxiety

Many disorders with symptoms like social anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and paranoid thoughts have cause-and-effect relationships with anxiety. People living with disabilities face more conditions where their anxiety level rises. And, meditation can be directly linked to a reduced level of anxiety. People with disabilities can benefit by meditating as it reduces the frequency and severity of anxiety. The more a person meditates the better they can manage their anxiety.

3. Enhancement in Positive Outlook

Various studies have established a relationship between meditation and a person’s self-image and positive outlook toward life. Persons with disabilities, especially those with visible disabilities, tend to have a negative self-image and lack of confidence. Adopting meditation as a habit helps individuals in developing a positive self-image that results in a positive outlook toward life. Meditation is very effective in saving people from going into a rut of negativity.

4. Increase in Awareness of Thoughts

Meditation helps us in being aware of our thoughts and feelings. It is considered a beneficial practice for people who get negative, harmful, self-defeating, or self-harming thoughts. Just being aware of the negative thoughts makes people act more responsibly. People having self-harming thoughts are also less likely to act upon their thoughts when they are aware of what’s going into their minds.

5. Increase in Attention Span

With meditation, we can drastically improve our attention span. It works for everybody. Though conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) cannot be cured, but meditation is believed to be helpful in managing the symptoms. Meditation thickens the prefrontal cortex and also raises the level of dopamine both of which are helpful in managing the symptoms of ADHD.

6. Helpful in Fighting Addiction

Meditation helps in gaining more self-control which is necessary for fighting any kind of addiction. Someone going through any therapy or treatment for fighting any kind of addiction can improve the effectiveness of their treatment by including meditation in their daily routine. For the same reason that meditation is helpful in addiction, it is also helpful in different kinds of food disorders. With better self-control, one can make better choices.

7. Improvement in Sleep

Lack of sleep or insomnia can be caused due to various physical and mental disabilities and it can also be the cause of many diseases and disabling conditions. Anyone struggling with a lack of sleep can notice an improvement with regular meditation. People who meditate fall asleep sooner when they hit the bed and have a better quality of sleep overall.

8. Reduction in Chronic and Intermittent Pain

A lot of people with disabilities have to deal with pain regularly. Some even rely on regular pain medications. Comparative studies, between people who meditate and those who don’t, have confirmed that meditation reduces chronic and intermittent pain. Our perception of pain has a link with our state of mind. We perceive more pain when we are in stress or when we are feeling negative. Meditation helps in keeping us stress-free and thus reduces our chronic and intermittent pain.

9. Reduction in Blood Pressure

Persistent high blood pressure or hypertension is not a good thing for our heart health. Meditation helps in naturally lowering blood pressure. Studies have shown that meditation on average reduces blood pressure by five points.

10. Helps in Better Digestion and Gut Health

You might not see a direct link between meditation and your digestive system but you must have felt a link between stress and your digestive system. When we are anxious or stressed out we don’t feel like eating or we may start ‘stress-eating’. Sometimes we deal with an upset stomach just because of our stress. Meditation works in relieving stress very well and hence has a positive impact on our digestion and gut health. Many studies have proved the same.

Final Thoughts

Meditation, even if it’s for five minutes a day, can have significant well-being on our overall well-being. The power of meditation is yet to be discovered completely. But, as much as has been proved already, meditation impacts every aspect of our lives positively. Persons with disabilities can reduce their struggle a little by adopting the habit of regular meditation.

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One response to “Meditation: Meaning, Benefits and Importance”

  1. Avatar Olivia Smart says:

    I thought it was interesting that you can improve your sleep with meditation. I’ve always struggled with my sleep, but I’ve made a goal to try new things to help. I’ll be sure to try this out over the next few weeks to see how my sleep improves.

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