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Why Should I Meditate?

It’s a question many are asking themselves these days – and still a question even more people ought to be asking. While meditation has a long history of varied practice, styles, and purposes, the Cleveland Clinic describes it holistically as “a practice that involves focusing or clearing your mind using a combination of mental and physical techniques… to relax, reduce anxiety and stress and more.” The answer to the personal question of “why should *I* meditate” is simultaneously simple and complex. The simple answer is because it works, and because it has been proven scientifically to help people improve their lives. At the most basic level, there are numerous benefits, no major downsides, and that makes it worth at least trying. At a deeper level, the complex answer requires delving more specifically into the particular benefits of meditation.

What are the Benefits of Meditation? 

Mental Benefits

The most obvious benefits of meditation to both comprehend and feel take place in the mind. Meditation has been found to reduce stress, improve confidence, increase self-awareness, and more. It’s important to note that while common phrases like “it’s all in your head” imply that things existing in the mind are somehow less real, the known scientific reality is quite the opposite. The state of our minds – our level of self-awareness, the practiced ability to manage stress, openness to creativity and imagination – has incredible real-world impact on not just ourselves, but all those around us as well, and meditation has the power to effectively improve all these aspects and more (Mayo Clinic, 2022). Even total beginners mention noticing significant impact on their mental, emotional, and relational wellbeing with the introduction of simple meditation practices to their routines.


Physical Benefits

While most are familiar at some level with the mental benefits of meditation, far fewer are aware of the physiological benefits meditation can provide. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation has been found to lower resting heart rate and blood pressure, improve sleep quality, and bring relief to symptoms of depression and anxiety, chronic pain, heart disease, even cancer; this occurs practically through lowering blood pressure and stress levels, resetting circadian rhythms, triggering the release of certain hormones, etc. Recent studies in the Journal of Religion & Health have shown meditation to be a powerful instrument of bodily self-regulation, and an effective alternative therapy when associated with conventional medical treatments.

A Bigger Picture

Okay, so meditation can help you both mentally and physically – that’s huge! But that’s not all. There’s another cumulative benefit to meditation. A study in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing found that when communities collectively begin to develop greater mindfulness, one of the most general effects of meditation, there is a powerful potential for improving consumer, societal, and environmental wellbeing. While meditation can be deeply transformative in our individual lives, there is an even greater impact possible when we think beyond just ourselves to our larger communities. In how many ways will the world look different when filled with self-aware, mindful, contemplative individuals?


Bahl, S., Milne, G. R., Ross, S. M., Mick, D. G., Grier, S. A., Chugani, S. K., Chan, S. S., Gould, S., Cho, Y.-N., Dorsey, J. D., Schindler, R. M., Murdock, M. R., & Boesen-Mariani, S. (2016). Mindfulness: Its Transformative Potential for Consumer, Societal, and Environmental Well-Being. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 35(2), 198–210.

The Cleveland Clinic (2022). Meditation.

Haynes, A. (2004). Meditation and Health: An Annotated Bibliography. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 44(1), 18–25.

Mayo Clinic (2022). Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress.

Sampaio, C. V. S., Lima, M. G., & Ladeia, A. M. (2017). Meditation, Health and Scientific Investigations: Review of the Literature. Journal of Religion and Health, 56(2), 411–427.

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