Our current lifestyles cause us a lot of stress and anxiety, which has a considerable impact on our health. It is important to take the time to find, from time to time, calm and serenity for our physical and mental well-being.

time to meditate

Research over the past 40 years has shown that meditation has measurable psychological and physiological benefits.

Here are 10 reasons to take the time to meditate:

1. To avoid depression

According to a study published in 2015 in the medical journal The Lancet (1), mindfulness meditation would be as effective an alternative as antidepressants against depression relapses.

In addition, a study conducted on 91 women with fibromyalgia published in 2007 (2) reports a significant reduction in depressive symptoms in patients who participated in 8 2.5-hour meditation sessions.

2. To learn how to stop

Nowadays, we don't really take the time to stop, we always do something during the breaks we give ourselves, like using our smartphone, watching a show or smoking a cigarette.

Meditation allows us to be more present to ourselves and to the world around us by becoming aware of the simple fact of being there. To practice meditation in mindfulness is to stop for a short moment and return to the present moment.

3. To be happy

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports (3) shows that meditation increases the volume of grey matter in the precuneus, a region of the brain that is larger in people who tend to feel positive emotions intensely and perceive real meaning in their lives.

4. To reduce stress

The effect that meditation has on stress is one of the best known benefits.

In 2008, a study showed that mindfulness meditation (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) was effective in reducing stress and anxiety (4) in both healthy people and those with chronic illnesses.

5. To sleep better

Some people show a reduction in insomnia through mindfulness meditation techniques. Because of its relaxing effect, meditation can be an effective solution to insomnia when insomnia is caused by stress and anxiety.

6. To avoid migraines

According to research published in the medical journal Headache (5), meditation could relieve migraine. This research subjected a panel of 19 chronic migraine sufferers to the MSBR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction) method for 8 weeks. The result: a reduction in the frequency of migraine headaches for patients who followed the Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MSBR) method.

7. To control one's emotions

Beginning in 1998, psychology professor Paul Ekman, who heads the Human Interaction Laboratory at the University of California, conducted various experiments, including one on startle (6). He has discovered that the more a person is subject to negative emotions, the more he or she jumps.

During his research, Ekman equipped the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard with sensors and electrodes and made him hear a deafening noise, the equivalent of a large firecracker exploding next to his ear, and asked him to suppress his startle. The monk did not move and said he heard only a small noise.

The daily exercise of meditation, which leads to great serenity, can help us control all our emotions.

8. To reduce blood pressure

When we reach a state of relaxation through meditation, it causes a drop in tension by dilating the blood vessels.

In a study at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mental Health in Boston, patients with high blood pressure tested daily meditation with the help of a cardiologist. After 3 months of practice, 40 of the 60 study participants reduced their blood pressure medication. Meditation increases the body's production of nitric oxide (a gas that helps blood vessels expand, allowing better blood circulation).

9. To avoid burnout

Burnout is an ailment that is a direct result of chronic stress related to the work environment, different from depression.

American researchers have tested a meditation technique on doctors, a profession that is highly affected by burnout. For this study (7), 70 doctors followed mindfulness meditation sessions for 1 year.

The meditation sessions had the effect of reducing the symptoms associated with burnout. By the end of the program, participants' emotional exhaustion had decreased by 25.4%.

10. Because it's free!

You can of course practice meditation in a private or group class that you will pay for, but meditation can also be practiced alone, at home, for free!


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