Meditation’s Influence on Mental Health


Image by Harald Lepisk from Pixabay

Mia Souther, Editor of Wellness

With apps like Headspace and Calm on the rise, meditation must be making some sort of impact on mental health. So what is the draw to meditation?

Meditation can seem daunting at first. Sitting in pure silence for many minutes isn’t necessarily meant for everyone. Thankfully, meditation is more than just sitting in silence. Meditation can be listening to music mindfully, doing a guided meditation, repeating words of affirmation to yourself, and more… It could take some time to figure out what kind of meditation works for you. Thus, patience is necessary for this meditation journey. 

Headspace has over 65 million users across 190 countries. Clearly, meditation must be doing something remarkable to have such a large following. A few professors at Berkeley reviewed a recent study comparing attention span to meditation. The study concluded that mediation in many cases has been shown to increase one’s attention span and decrease mind wandering. Thus, meditation could help those seeking better focus. 

Another study to keep in mind, conducted by Jared Lindahl (and co-workers) came to the conclusion that meditation might not be beneficial during different periods of one’s lifetime. For example, if someone is grieving, meditation could bring up emotional feelings and create a painful experience. With this in mind, being intuitive may be the key to coming to the conclusion if mediation will be beneficial during a specific season in one’s life. 

Despite, a few complications mediation could bring depending on the time in one’s life, there are still many benefits. Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychologist who specializes in anxiety and traumatic stress reports that “mindfulness meditation makes perfect sense for treating anxiety.” Meditation could train the brain to think differently when anxious thoughts come up, to simply acknowledge them for just that rather than reading into them.  

Many studies have been conducted on meditation but unfortunately, experts are concluding for some to be biased. Acknowledging that most of the participants were already enthusiastic about meditation benefits. So while many believe there could be physical benefits linked to mediation, experts don’t know for sure yet. 

With all of the above in mind, mediation might just be worth a try if you are looking for some peace and calm this season.