13 Reasons why you need to be using guided meditation
Posted on January 27 2018
13 Reasons why you need to be meditating
In this day and age, we have all heard somewhere along the line that meditation is good for you. But what is it really good for? How is it good for you?
Is it some kind of cult thing that crazy hippy types do? Because, in all honesty, due to the judgemental society we are in, many of us feel that it is an activity that feels ‘stupid’, you almost want to laugh because you’re wondering ‘what on earth am I doing’. Too busy being concerned about what others are thinking.
If that is you, then starting meditating is your beginning to self-development; it’s your beginning of learning how to not give a monkeys! Because you will learn that meditating brings you closer to yourself! It will enable you to understand your own mind and teach you how to become less stressed in stressful situations and you will learn to let go. Using guided meditation (Like that found in The Buddha Box), especially for newbies is an easy approach, but works in exactly the same way.
Need proof? Well let us give it to you!
“Meditation is almost like clearing out an old room – that feeling when it is complete and empty, leaving you filled with joy and gratitude that it has actually been done!” - Penny Marshall
Facts on the Psychological Benefits of Meditation
- Meditation regulates moods and anxiety disorders
EVIDENCE - A study in the The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that an 8-week, 12 minute a day meditation program in patients with memory loss, was associated with positive changes in mood, anxiety, and other neuropsychological parameters, and these changes correlated with changes in cerebral blood flow .
A study published by the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that after 3 months of meditation and relaxation training, 20 out of 22 patients diagnosed with anxiety disorder experienced reduced panic and anxiety.
you can also read a review by Edenfield and Saeed (2012) which details the many different studies that have been undertaken and have been successful at demonstrating the benefits of meditation on anxiety, worry etc. 
- Meditation reduces stress
EVIDENCE - A study published by Elsevier found that brief mindfulness meditation training buffers self-reported psychological stress reactivity .
In another study, scientists monitored blood-based markers including cortisol and inflammatory proteins associated with stress before and after and 8 week mindfulness course; the tests showed that the markers had significantly dropped following the mindfulness practice .
- Meditation allows you to deal with pain better
EVIDENCE – Clinical trials have shown that mindfulness meditation reduces chronic pain by 57%. Those experienced in meditation can reduce pain by over 90% .
Imaging studies actually show that mindfulness alters the structure of the brain overtime by soothing brain patterns underlying pain ! Now how crazy is that… blown away with this fact!
- Long-term meditation enhances the ability to generate gama waves in the brain
EVIDENCE - Scientists studied the brain of 16 Vipassana meditators to monitor the difference of game waves across the brain and found that when using Vipassana meditation, there is an increase in gama waves. However, the increase was much lower in beginners than that of those that had been practicing for 10+ years. The study also found that this type of meditation enhanced sensory awareness. This paper was published by Springer .
- Meditation reduces alcohol and substance abuse
EVIDENCE - A study published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse found that out of 548 participants, 45% of them used complementary and alternative medicine and found meditation to be the top therapy to use .
- Meditation improves focus, attention and the ability to work under stress
EVIDENCE - A study led by Katherine MacLean of the University of California suggested that during and after meditation training, subjects were more skilled at keeping focus, especially on repetitive and boring tasks.
Neuroscientist Giuseppe Pagnoni, found that meditation not only changes brain patterns, but it also confers advantages in mental focus that may improve cognitive performance .
- Meditation improves information processing and decision making
EVIDENCE - Researchers at UCLA University have found that years of regular meditation practice can help to thicken the brain and strengthen the connections between brain cells.
Further research at UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging found that long-term meditation increases the amount of gyrification (folding at the cortex of the brain which promotes and enhances neural processing). According to scientists, gyrification is responsible for improving the brain’s ability to process information as well as to help enhance memory, decision making, attention and ability to focus in spite of distractions .
- Meditation gives you mental strength
Meditating builds our mental resilience against future stress by strengthening the resilience of our very genes according to Neuroscientist Dr. Claudia Aguirre.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School evaluated the impact of an eight-week mindfulness training course which brought in clear changes in mood and behaviour. Not only did participants feel happier, they also felt in control of their lives and started to see obstacles as opportunities .
- Mindfulness practices decreases depression
EVIDENCE - The University of Exeter published a study into mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. They found that it was more beneficial than drugs or counseling for depression. Four months after starting the study, three quarters of the patients felt well enough to stop taking antidepressants .
- Meditation relieves pain better than morphine!
EVIDENCE – Meditation calms down the part of the brain that deals with pain whilst simultaneously boosting coping areas of the brain .
Scientists used scanning techniques of the brain whilst causing pain to the participants of the study (using a heat pad on the leg at 120F). After meditating, every participant’s ratings had reduced by up to 93%. In the same study, scientists found a pain reduction of 40% when using meditation, this was found to be a significantly lower reduction in pain than morphine or any other pain-relieving drug which measure around a 25% reduction in pain [12, 13].
- Meditation improves learning, memory and self-awareness
EVIDENCE – Mindfulness meditation is a non-judgmental practice which allows you to just be in the present moment. It allows individuals to gain a deeper understanding of their emotions and feelings.
Research shows that this practice increases the density of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is associated with memory and learning [9, 14].
Self-awareness and compassion were also shown to improve amongst a group of participants monitored during and 8 week meditation regime .
- Meditation increases awareness of the unconscious mind
EVIDENCE – The University of Sussex gathered 57 participants. 11 practiced meditation, 46 did not. The scientists then used the model of a previous study undertaken by neuroscientist Benjamin Libet that involved as experiment to test how much conscious control individuals had when making decisions. This was accomplished by having participants press a button at any time they wished to. The scientist monitored the brain activity and examined the time difference when the decision was made to when the person actually hit the button.
On average, individuals made the decision to push the button 200 milliseconds before the physical push. This shows that the unconscious brain made the decision a full 150 milliseconds before the conscious decision.
In the new study, The University of Sussex found that those whole meditated had a larger gap then those how did not meditate. The gap for meditating was 69 milliseconds whilst non-meditators came in at 149 milliseconds; suggesting that meditators are more aware of the unconscious brain .
- Meditation benefits your psychological well-being
EVIDENCE – All the studies summarised clearly demonstrates that meditation benefits psychological well-being.
A study conducted by the University of Rochester also outlines this fact by using quasi-experimental and lab studies. They found that the ‘Mindful Attention Awareness Scale’ differed between meditators and non-mediators and that this was associated with enhanced self-awareness. They also found it to promote psychological well-being due to higher positive emotional states .
And there we have it, in a nut shell some extremely strong reasons as to why you should be using meditation. Some may say it is ‘easy’ you just sit there. But meditation is a lot deeper than that.
It is a rather powerful feeling just being there, and having the time to yourself to realise everything that you have in that moment of time. To practice gratitude and learn to love you.
Just giving yourself a moment to process your recent activities and calm down many of the emotions and feelings that have arisen throughout the day.
It’s almost like clearing out an old room – that feeling when it is complete and empty, leaving you filled with joy and gratitude that it has actually been done!
Find your balance today with The Buddha Box. The 5 sense meditation will ignite all of your senses, taking you through the most incredible sensory experience. Every new box comes with a new meditation from Jason Stephenson. Exclusive to Buddha Box customers
Photo credit: Cecille Photography
 Exeter University (2015). Featured news - Mindfulness-based therapy could offer an alternative to antidepressants for preventing depression relapse - University of Exeter. [online] Exeter.ac.uk. Available at: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_446995_en.html [Accessed 23 Jan. 2018].
 Moss, A., Wintering, N., Roggenkamp, H., Khalsa, D., Waldman, M., Monti, D. and Newberg, A. (2012). Effects of an 8-Week Meditation Program on Mood and Anxiety in Patients with Memory Loss. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 18(1), pp.48-53.
 Edenfield, T. and Saeed, S. (2012). An update on mindfulness meditation as a self-help treatment for anxiety and depression. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, p.131.
 Creswell, J., Pacilio, L., Lindsay, E. and Brown, K. (2014). Brief mindfulness meditation training alters psychological and neuroendocrine responses to social evaluative stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 44, pp.1-12.
 Sarah Knapton (2017). Mindfulness meditation lowers stress hormone and decreases inflammation in body, scientists find. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/24/mindfulness-meditation-lowers-stress-hormone-decreases-inflammation/ [Accessed 24 Jan. 2018].
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 Psychology Today. (2012). Brain Scans Show How Meditation Improves Mental Focus. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201204/brain-scans-show-how-meditation-improves-mental-focus [Accessed 24 Jan. 2018].
 the health philosopher. (2016). The Benefits of Meditation. [online] Available at: https://thehealthphilosopher.com/2016/06/01/the-benefits-of-meditation/ [Accessed 24 Jan. 2018].
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 Penman (2015). Can Mindfulness Meditation Really Reduce Pain and Suffering?. [online] psychologytoday. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mindfulness-in-frantic-world/201501/can-mindfulness-meditation-really-reduce-pain-and-suffering [Accessed 27 Jan. 2018].
 Zeidan F, Adler-Neal AL, Wells RE, et al. Mindfulness-meditation-based pain relief is not mediated by endogenous opioids. Journal of Neuroscience. 2016;36(11):3391-3397.
 Alleyne, R. (2011). Meditation stronger than drugs for pain relief. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/8430609/Meditation-stronger-than-drugs-for-pain-relief.html [Accessed 27 Jan. 2018].
 Brown, K. and Ryan, R. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), pp.822-848. Hrala, J. (2016). People Who Meditate Appear to Be More Aware of Their Unconscious Mind. [online] ScienceAlert. Available at: https://www.sciencealert.com/meditation-might-make-you-more-aware-of-your-unconscious-brain-study-finds [Accessed 27 Jan. 2018)