Meditation is the perfect antidote to modern stress. It’s a reset button for your mind and body.
Life is extremely fast-paced, and time goes by so quickly that many of us don’t truly experience and savor our lives. We become over-stimulated, over-scheduled, and over-committed. This causes stress. Not surprisingly, taking a break can actually improve your health: physically, emotionally, and mentally. A good way to take a break is to meditate.
It was recently discovered that over 80% of all doctors’ visits are due to stress-related complaints, and often, stress is due to of our out-of-balance lifestyles, and those not-so-nourishing choices we habitually make.
Meditation is a practice that brings about balance physically, emotionally, and mentally. Not only does meditation help you get back in to balance physically, it will help your sense of well being, and you’ll be able to think more clearly and make better choices.
Meditation is studied in more and more in classrooms, clinics, research laboratories, and spiritual centers – and we see it work everyday in ourselves, in those we love, and in those we teach. Individuals 40 years and older go to the doctor 73% less often if they have a regular meditation practice. And meditators have 87.3% fewer admissions to the hospital for heart disease, and 55.4% fewer admissions for benign and malignant tumors of all types.
The ways that meditation benefits the body:
That’s probably why meditation is becoming more and more popular and is often recommended as a complement to traditional therapies. Rather than medicating away the symptoms of chronic conditions that some of us suffer from, meditation is prescribed to prevent and reduce the stress that underlies disease. Remember the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Meditation is that prevention.
Here are some of the proven physical effects:
- Lower cholesterol
- Curb insomnia
- Boost the immune system
- Reduce depression
- Alleviate stress levels
- Enhance memory
- Treat drug and alcohol abuse
- Lower high blood pressure
- Ease pain of arthritis
- Speed up the healing response
- Relieve digestive disorders
- Reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause
One of the biggest benefits from meditation is lowered blood pressure, and the general calming of the nervous system. A 1974 study conducted at Harvard Medical School (and since repeated in other studies) reported that borderline hypertension often responds extremely well to meditation. Just by practicing meditation, most people under the age of 40 could expect to fall below the limit set for borderline hypertension, which is 130.90.
Not only does meditation aid in lowering heart rate and blood pressure, it has been used to help people quit smoking and conquer drug and alcohol addictions. Meditation relieves anxiety and depression and insomnia. And, it regulates hormones, including reducing cortisol -the stress hormone, and increasing DHEA – the youth hormone.
Meditation is good for the mind too.
The mind body connection shows that stress and emotional trauma can turn into chemical toxins, the so-called “stress hormones” that have been linked to many different diseases. Because the mind and body are intimately connected, when the mind settles down, so does the body. This allows for the release of stress-induced physical symptoms. And since most disease is caused by or worsened by stress, meditation is really good for your physical and mental health.
Those who meditate report a greater sense of inner peace, a feeling of well being, calm and happiness. They also report higher levels of self-esteem, a clearer mind, the ability to focus and make better decisions. Others say they are less dependent on what others think or say about them to feel their value as a human being. Many say it helps them to figure out what they really want and clarify their goals.
A regular practice or meditation will make a difference in social situations too. Fear and anxiety will no longer be a constant companions. You’ll find yourself more calm and centered. And this can be good for your relationships. When you’re stressed out, it can affect everyone around you at home and at work. People also find that meditating together is a harmonious experience.
Here are some more psychological benefits:
- Reduced anxiety and expanded capacity for happiness
- Improved concentration and focus
- Improved mental clarity
- Improved performance, efficiency, and productivity
- Increased job satisfaction
- Decreased need for addictive substances
- Increased self-awareness and self-confidence
- Increased fluid intelligence (IQ)
- Increased intuition
- Reduce depression
- Relieve anxiety and compulsive behavior
- Alleviate stress levels
- Improve decision-making ability
- Enhance memory
- A general sense of well-being
Meditation: It’s good for the soul.
Along with the many psychological and physical benefits, when you practice meditation daily, you also receive spiritual benefits. Many say meditation helps them to figure out what they really want and clarify their goals. Some report it helps them to be present emotionally and mentally when they are with their loved ones or doing their work, rather than being distracted and missing the experience of their lives. Meditation also increases intuition and develops a peaceful mind.
In meditation, you connect with your true self, that essence that exists without dependance on the roles and responsibilities you have or the labels you take on. You’ll become more aware of who you really are, and can tune into your intuition and your true feelings, including the way your body responds to the situations you face. As you develop more self-awareness, you’ll make better choices in life and this leads to a life of more comfort. When you connect to that deepest part of you, you access more energy, creativity and inner awareness – your natural state of being.
During meditation you gain a deeper rest than in sleep, yet at the same time, your awareness expands. You’ll feel more rested and you’ll begin to cultivate a centeredness and sense of balance that before might have seemed elusive when you were faced with stressful situations.
Even a few minutes of meditation every day can help. In the morning, a meditation can help you feel more alert and relaxed all day. And, when you get home from work, you can meditate to help you shift gears and transition from work mode to your life at home.
It has also been shown that meditation creates:
- A deeper sense of connection to others
- An awareness and connection with your higher self and source, or Creator
- Enrichment of all aspects of your life
- Activation of the expansive qualities of the heart
- Easy access to the power of attention and intention to realize your deepest desires
- Increased occurrence of synchronicities
It’s always a good time to learn to meditate. And with our classes and techniques, you’ll be able to meditate right the very first time!