Benefits of Meditation Based On Science

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There have been many scientific studies on the benefits of meditation. The resources on this page were provided courtesy of Lars King, a Forward Steps subscriber and friend.

Scroll down to explore those from Lars and visit here to read 92 more reasons to meditate.

Meditation Improves Your Health by:

Increasing Immune System Function

Forward Steps Latest Personal Development ProgrammeSee here about the effect of compassion meditation on neuroendocrine, innate immune and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress

Decreasing Pain

See here to learn about brain mechanisms supporting the modulation of pain by mindfulness meditation.

Decreasing Inflammation

See here and read about how mindfulness-based stress reduction training reduces loneliness and pro-inflammatory gene expression in older adults.

Meditation Boosts Your Happiness by:

Increasing Positive Emotions

See here for how positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources.

Increasing Ability to Control Emotions

See here for how a positive orientation towards suffering may be enhanced through compassion training and is thought to influence psychological functioning.

Decreasing Stress

See here a study that examined the effects of a short-term stress management program (mindfulness-based stress reduction MBSR) on health care professionals.

Decreasing Anxiety

See here a study designed to determine the effectiveness of a group stress reduction program based on mindfulness meditation for patients with anxiety disorders.

Decreasing Depression

See here to learn about the effects of mindfulness meditation on cognitive processes and affect in patients with past depression.

Meditation Benefits Your Social Life by:

Increasing Social Connection

See here how even just a few minutes of loving-kindness meditation increased feelings of social connection and positivity toward novel individuals on both explicit and implicit levels.

Even just a few minutes of loving-kindness meditation increased feelings of social connection and positivity. Click To Tweet

Increasing Compassion

See here and learn how this study is the first to clearly show the power of meditation to increase compassionate responding to suffering, even in the face of social pressures to avoid so doing. In turn, it provides scientific credence to ancient Buddhist teachings that meditation increases spontaneous compassionate behavior.

Decreasing Feelings of Loneliness

Benefits of Meditation - Forward Steps image 1500pxSee here how meditation can reduce loneliness in older adults and can have a positive overall effect on their health.

Meditation Changes Your Brain by:

Increasing Gray Matter Density

See here about mindfulness meditation which has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being that extend beyond the time the individual is formally meditating.

Over the last three decades mindfulness meditation practices have been increasingly incorporated into psychotherapeutic programs, to take advantage of these benefits.

Increasing Volume In Area Related to Self-Control

See here about how a short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways.

Increasing Volume In Area Related to Paying Attention

See here for an interesting study into brain regions associated with attention, interoception and sensory processing that were thicker in meditation participants than matched controls, including the prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula. Between-group differences in prefrontal cortical thickness were most pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation might offset age-related cortical thinning.

Meditation Increases Your Productivity by:

Increasing Focus

See here a study that aims to demonstrate that, through mental training, increased control over the allocation of limited processing resources may be possible. The study corroborates the idea that plasticity in brain and mental function exists throughout life, and illustrates the usefulness of systematic mental training.

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. -Thich Nhat Hang Click To Tweet

Increasing Memory

See here and read about students who did about an hour of “mindfulness training” for eight days and subsequently did better on their GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) as well as tests of working memory and mind-wandering.

Increasing Ability to Multitask

See here about a meditation group who reported lower levels of stress and showed better memory for the tasks they had performed, they also switched tasks less often and remained focused on tasks longer.

Increasing Creativity

See here to read some findings that support the belief that meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas.

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Hi, I'm Thea Westra at Forward Steps (

Hi, I'm Thea Westra at Forward Steps (

Since March 2003, I've been sharing practical, positive, thought provoking and inspiring self improvement content online. My aim is simple - to offer tips and resources that help us enhance our daily experience of life and to keep stepping forward. Perth, Western Australia is the place I call home and I'm the author of "Time For My Life: 365 Stepping Stones". You might also know me from the Forward Steps personal development blog and the daily series of "365 Forward Steps Notes", all designed to add wings to our unique life journeys.

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Benefits of Meditation Based On Science