Sometimes there are people who are quick to dismiss meditative practices as being little more than mildly therapeutic, however, long-term practitioners personally experience much more than that. Thankfully, there are actually thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers about the benefits of meditation and other mindfulness exercises.
For their book Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body, Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson took a more detailed look at these studies and narrowed 6,000 down to about 60 that they felt held up to rigorous scientific standards. The overall conclusion was that meditation helps people to be healthier mentally and physically, not just spiritually.
Goleman and Davidson classify four different levels of mindfulness in practice, ranging from the most frequent and concentrated meditators such as monks and yogis of the East, all the way to people in the West who may use popular meditation apps for a few minutes here and there. There are two videos below featuring these authors that help explain more of their work in greater detail.
In a very simplistic way of looking at this from a lay person’s point of view, the deeper and wider uses and applications of mindfulness meditation help to improve not only each of us individually, but also those around us because we become more resilient and kind.
At Centered Recovery Programs, we introduce many types of mindful applications that are beneficial in a recovery setting but also everyday life. By helping to bring a greater understanding of ourselves and others, coupled with increased awareness, presence in each moment and an improvement in our quality of thinking, we are able to assist people to find their ability for long-term sobriety to be already within themselves.