One of the best ways to get centered is through meditation. The feel-good state of meditation directly combats stress and anxiety, and helps to improve your overall outlook on life.

Besides the many scientifically documented benefits (some of which we document below), meditation helps you flow with the currents of life and avoid false starts and dead-ends. For regular meditators, it’s common to receive a signal in meditation to try an alternate path, and realize later it saved them time or money.

Below we list several scientific studies highlighting the benefits of meditation.

Meditation and Anxiety

“Twenty-five studies reported statistically superior outcomes in the meditation group compared to control. No adverse effects were reported. Conclusions: This review demonstrates some efficacy of meditative therapies in reducing anxiety symptoms, which has important clinical implications for applying meditative techniques in treating anxiety.”
Chen KW, Berger CC, Manheimer E, et al. Meditative therapies for reducing anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Depression and Anxiety. 2012;29(7):545–562.

Meditation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

“Women in the MG showed greater reductions in IBS symptom severity immediately after training…but evidenced significantly greater improvements in the MG than in the SG at the 3-month follow-up. Mindfulness scores increased significantly more in the MG after treatment, confirming effective learning of mindfulness skills. Participants' ratings of the credibility of their assigned interventions, measured after the first group session, were not different between groups. Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial demonstrated that mindfulness training has a substantial therapeutic effect on bowel symptom severity, improves health-related quality of life, and reduces distress. The beneficial effects persist for at least 3 months after group training.” Gaylord SA, Palsson OS, Garland EL, et al. Mindfulness training reduces the severity of irritable bowel syndrome in women: results of a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;106(9):1678–1688.

Meditation and Smoking Cessation

“Scientific interest on mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of smoking has increased over the past decade. All articles reported promising results, especially for smoking cessation, relapse prevention, number of cigarettes smoked, the moderation of mindfulness on the strength of relationship between craving and smoking, and the development of coping strategies to deal with triggers to smoke. Most of the articles corresponded to pilot or feasibility randomized controlled trials with low risk of bias regarding random sequence generation, attrition, and reporting. However, few articles reported sufficient data on selection, performance, and detection bias. Conclusions: Mindfulness appears to induce positive effects on mental health, which might contribute to the maintenance of tobacco abstinence.”
de Souza ICW, de Barros VV, Gomide HP, et al. Mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of smoking: a systematic literature review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2015;21(3):129–140.

Meditation and Chronic Illness

“Meditation has been studied in populations with fibromyalgia, cancer, hypertension, and psoriasis. While earlier studies were small and lacked experimental controls, the quality and quantity of valid research is growing. Meditation practice can positively influence the experience of chronic illness and can serve as a primary, secondary, and/or tertiary prevention strategy. Health professionals demonstrate commitment to holistic practice by asking patients about use of meditation, and can encourage this self-care activity. Simple techniques for mindfulness can be taught in the clinical setting.”
Bonadonna R. Meditation's impact on chronic illness. Holistic Nursing Practice. 2003;17(6):309–319.

Meditation and Insomnia

“Conclusions: Mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia.” Ong JC, Manber R, Segal Z, et al. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for chronic insomnia. Sleep. 2014;37(9):1553–1563.

We encourage you to practice regular meditation to reap all the wonderful benefits, including peace of mind.

Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo

Author's Bio: 

Scott Petullo and Stephen Petullo offer vital, 
yet sensible and practical
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