Five reasons mindful meditation should be in your daily routine


Alex Hunter

Students participate in daily meditation in Mrs. Berger’s class on Friday, October 8, 2021.

Alex Hunter, Copy editor

Meditation is a practice that has been hidden behind the spotlight for years and its benefits go unnoticed. Mindful meditation, in specific, is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of your feelings and sensations at the moment.  

      1. Alleviates stress

Mindful meditation brings attention to the right hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for being in the current moment and for intuitive thought. Meditation allows for the brain to be in a state of ataraxia, or calmness. It is a way for the mind to shut down the chatterbox and focus on breathing and stress relief. This way of creating silence for the body has been connected with the reduction of stress hormones in the brain. 

      2. Memory boost

The hippocampus, which is the center of memory in the brain, is induced by breathing patterns and consistent meditation. Mindfulness is the ability to switch between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This practice allows for memory retrieval. It is important to maintain a consistent, deep breathing pattern while meditating, as your brain can obtain consolidated memories lodged in the back of the hippocampus this way. 

      3. Consistency in school

Before taking tests, students are typically flooded with anxiety, nervousness and distraction. Meditating for one minute before a test is all it takes to improve scores. Breathing and clearing the mind calms down the amygdala: a small but mighty center of emotions in the brain. The relaxation of the amygdala allows for consolidated memories of the test material to flow through the brain’s neural pathways, preparing you for any test or assignment!

      4. Decreases risk of depression

Today, the clinical diagnosis of depression has increased at an alarming rate. Mindful meditation has the potential to change the game of anxiety and depression-linked disorders. The simple task can wash away negative thoughts and emotions in an effective manner. Meditation is typically frowned upon by the population for its “hippie” history, but the sole reason it is not practiced worldwide is that there is no money involved in it. Instead of using a basic practice that requires your presence, your breathing and your body, people buy over-the-counter medications to treat their mental illnesses instead. 

      5. Enhances sleep

The physiological response to mindful meditation aids in the body’s natural sleep and wake cycle: the circadian rhythm. Melatonin, the hormone in charge of sleep, is greatly affected under high-stress situations/routines. Using meditation controls breathing in such a way that the body will return to its desired homeostatic state. In other words, your heart rate and blood pressure will decrease and melatonin secretion, relaxation and serotonin will all increase. All of these physiological alterations will create a more balanced sleep and wake cycle. 

Because of its lack of funding, mindful meditation has not had its surge in popularity, but once it hits that point people will begin to see how much of a toll breath control and mindfulness have on their physiology. All it takes is one minute of your day to improve your life and tackle any challenges that face you along the way.