The lasting effects of meditation


It’s no secret to those that practice it that meditation is highly frustrating at the beginning. Many take to meditation and want to see immediate effects - however, you soon learn to be patient with this practice. While the positive effects of meditation will come, it takes time, dedication, and commitment to the practice.

So, when will meditation work? And, how long does the effect last? This post will answer these questions and more. So, if you’re thinking about getting into meditation, or have recently started and felt frustrated so far, this post is for you. We hope you find it informative!

Meditation and the Two Effects

Meditation does affect your mind and body. In fact, there are several studies completed by neuroscientists that support the theory that meditation will positively impact those who practice, like this one here. Meditation has two different effects on the brain. One can be felt almost immediately or during practice.

The other comes after many weeks or months of meditation. The State Effect is what you experience during meditation. It is a gentle modification of your state of consciousness that will be felt during and then for a short while after you meditate.

The Trait Effect is after repeated meditation practice. It’s when the practice alters your nervous system, internal chemistry, and brain functioning.

How Long Do I Need To Meditate To Feel The Results?

Many experts say that it’s vital to make meditation a habit in order to feel its full effects. It’s better to meditate a little, often; than a lot, less regularly. In terms of length of practice, this article says that a minimum of ten minutes is required to notice a measurable impact of the State Effect.

What Happens If I Stop Meditating?

One of the main ideas of meditation is that it is a habit that lasts a lifetime. With this habit comes a huge range of benefits, like an increase in cognitive function, self-awareness and self-esteem, less reactivity, and lower stress and anxiety levels.

So, many practitioners argue that it makes sense to create a daily habit out of meditation so that you enjoy an overall better sense of mindfulness and mental ability. It’s important to note that many of the more serious benefits, like a change in brain and neurological function, come after years of practice.

Therefore, stopping and starting will increase the amount of time it takes to happen. If we stop practicing, it might be that we never feel those serious benefits at all.

Plus, stopping the daily meditative practice may lead to an increase in stress and anxiety levels once again - it’s the physical practice of meditation that often brings our minds and hearts to calm levels. So, it’s best to keep the practice going if you want to see the full benefits that are open to you.

So, it’s clear meditation isn’t a quick practice to benefit from. While there are some immediate benefits from the State Effect, the more serious benefits may take years to come. That’s why practitioners and experts say to make mindfulness and meditation a lifelong habit, and not something to dip in and out of. That way, you can always and continually feel the benefits of the practice of meditation!

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Written by Noga Sapir - Reflect Author

Noga is the founder and CEO of Reflect Innovation. Noga’s work lies in the intersection of technology and design, and how tactility can create unique experiences in the mental health space.

Reflect Innovation was conceived in 2016 when, while completing her degree in Textile Design, Noga developed Reflect, looking to invent solutions for her own struggle with anxiety.

Noga holds a BSc. in Neuroscience from Tel Aviv University and BDes. in Textile Design from Shenkar College of engineering, design, and art.

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