Meditation is increasing in popularity. Lots of folks engage in the practice for various reasons related to health and mind. We’ve already discussed some of the reasons you should consider giving meditation a shot. It will enhance your spiritual pursuits and provide you with a mindset that is open to a number of possibilities. There are also some physical and emotional benefits to be gained that have been proven by science. The meditating you do today can enhance your mind, body and spirit for years to come. Keep reading to explore the long-term benefits of daily meditation practice.

Quiets “Monkey Mind”

You’ve heard the term “monkey mind”, right? It refers to those racing thoughts that come out of nowhere and just won’t quit, often when you’re trying like mad to drift off to sleep. Meditation has been linked to a reduction in the mind’s default mode network (DMN), the area of the brain that is responsible for allowing the mind to wander. This is great news when you’re trying to get in touch with your spirituality. A focused mind lets you prioritize when pursuing your higher purpose goals.

Enhanced Focus and Concentration

Meditation has been shown to sharpen the mind and attune it more readily to what’s known as “visual discrimination” tasks, allowing them to more readily notice small discrepancies those in the non-meditating control group were likely to miss. Other studies have demonstrated the ways in which meditation leads to improved cognitive skills and sustained attention span. These are long-term effects of meditation that can truly improve numerous facets of your life.

Strengthens the Immune System

You know that meditation quiets the mind and helps you to focus, but you may be surprised to learn it also has a tremendously positive effect on your body as a whole. Studies have actually shown that those who engage in a regular meditation practice begin to produce more antibodies when compared to non-meditators. Researchers found that meditation actually has a direct influence on the manner in which the body functions.

Lessens Anxiety

Even those who don’t suffer from a formal anxiety disorder can experience minor bouts of this uncomfortable emotion. They tend to come on without warning and can truly impede your daily functioning and well-being in clinical cases. Regular meditation can help to lessen anxiety and to promote an overall sense of calm. There’s a specific form of meditating known as “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction”, or MBSR, that has the specific aim of lowering stress levels. It’s actually been shown to have a positive effect on anxiety levels that can last well into the future. Mindfulness meditation, in general, can also reduce anxiety due to its impact on the earlier-reference DMN section of your brain.

This is just a partial list of the many long-term benefits of meditation. Getting into a routine of meditating will lead to actual changes in your brain’s makeup in positive ways that will spread across various parts of your life.