If you care about your health and wellness, you probably know meditation can help clear your mind and reduce stress and anxiety. However, you may not know that a mindfulness meditation practice can have more benefits for gals than guys.
5 ways women benefit more from meditation
The facts, please
A study conducted by Brown University demonstrates that women who meditate three times a week show greater decreases in emotions like guilt or irritability than men. Moreover, women had greater increases in mindfulness and self-compassion. In addition, meditation kept women from blowing negative feelings out of proportion. One of the study’s authors, Rahil Rojiani, points out that women are more apt to go down a rabbit hole and fixate in response to stress, while men find ways to be distracted. This may be why women have more anxiety and depression. Rojaini believes meditation can help women decrease negative emotions.
Spoiler alert: Women are stressed!
Medical and wellness experts agree that chronic stress can cause your body to release cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Unfortunately, cortisol can cause serious health problems ranging from high blood pressure to decreased immunity and cognitive function. Because women are often more stressed than men, they can experience greater results from meditation. It’s as simple as saying, “Ohm!”
It’s all about focus
Here’s another spoiler alert! Women have a lot of distractions and responsibilities. We may work and care for children at the same time. Or we may care for an ageing relative or parent. And if we are stay-at-home-mums, we’re charged with being a full-time parent, chauffeur, counsellor, chef and overall domestic goddess. According to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience, people who consistently practice meditation can improve mental focus and quiet brain activity.
Protection against disease
Women are often the primary caregivers of children and ageing adults. And that means more exposure to colds, viruses and a range of contagious diseases. (Let’s face it: pink eye is not a good look.) In addition, a strong immune system can help fight against more serious disease, such as breast cancer. In a study conducted at the Infanta Cristina Hospital in Spain, Transcendental Meditation increased the level of cells that fight off viruses and bacteria.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome relief
Last but not least: meditation seems to also influence what goes on in your gut. Women suffer much more than men from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and mindfulness meditation can help reduce IBS symptoms, such as chronic abdominal pain and irregular bowel habits. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology showed that meditation helped reduce the mental problems associated with IBS. This is good news for the 10-15% of women who suffer from this disease.
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 Yoga Journal, “Study Suggests Women Benefit More from Mindfulness Meditation Than Men Do,” Jennifer D’Angelo Friedman, May 2017
 Psychology Today, “Brain Scans Show How Meditation Improves Mental Focus”, Joshua Gowin, PhD, April 2012
 American Journal of Gastroenterology 2011