Yoga and meditation are said to have originated in India thousands of years ago but today it is practiced more by people outside India. Meditation is gaining popularity nowadays due to its ability to achieve complete well-being. Stress is an important factor in most of the modern day diseases like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and depression. With high-pressure jobs and fast lifestyle, stress is unavoidable in modern life. In such a scenario, practicing meditation for just 10-15 minutes a day can go a long way in protecting you against diseases.
Here are some of the health benefits of practicing meditation regularly:
1. Reduces Anxiety
According to psychiatrists from Harvard Medical School, meditation can reduce anxiety symptoms. Anxiety attacks occur when someone gets overwhelmed with worry over issues that they have no control over. Anxiety, in turn, can lead to high blood pressure and heart diseases due to the stress it creates on the body.
2. Improves Concentration
Studies by Harvard and Stanford neuroscientists have proven that practicing meditation leads to a redistribution of the grey matter of the brain with a higher concentration of grey matter in the learning, memory and emotion-related parts of the brain. It has also been revealed that continued meditation leads to increased gamma wave activity in the brain.
3. Keeps Blood Pressure In Check
Meditation is a great way to help keep your blood pressure in check. A study at Harvard Medical School found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, in a similar way to blood pressure-lowering medication. Meanwhile, a British Medical Journal report found that patients trained how to relax had significantly lower blood pressure.
4. Boosts Memory
Several studies have shown that meditation leads to an increase in mental focus, faster information processing, better decision making, and better memory. It also improves one’s ability to work under stress. With increasing distraction of modern life, the need to focus and maintain continued attention can be achieved through meditation.
5. Strengthens Immunity
Studies show that meditation increases the activity of ‘natural killer cells’. These are the cells responsible for killing bacteria and viruses that enter the body. Improved immunity means fewer chances of falling sick and enhanced overall health.
6. Uplifts Your Mood
Stress, depression and mood swings are common psychological issues faced in modern times. Meditation has been shown to decrease feelings of loneliness, depression and increase self-awareness and emotional well-being.
7. Helps Relieve Chronic Pains
Studies have shown that meditation has the ability to reduce pain and inflammation thereby reducing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain.
8. Improves Symptoms Of IBS
Meditation improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Studies show that when patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome began practicing meditation twice daily, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhea and constipation improved significantly.
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THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
-There are different kinds of yoga like mindfulness, Vipassana or Japa meditation.
-For beginners, mindfulness meditation is a good way to start the habit of meditation.
-It involves sitting in a comfortable position in a quiet place with your spine straight and focusing on a single thought or object for example your breathing pattern or the Om symbol.
-You should let your thoughts come and go but also be able to watch them with a sense of passivity like an observer.
-Many people also prefer to practice yoga in a group or under the guidance of an expert.
-Use whichever way suits you but do make meditation a part of your life for a healthier, and more enhanced living.
So, go ahead and give meditation a try for a healthy body, mind and soul. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!