Why Meditate

I always try meditation. Meditation means always keeping one mind, not-moving mind.

Seung Sahn

meditation

 

 

Meditation is one of the best tools we have to counter the brain’s negativity bias, release accumulated stress, foster positive experiences and intentions, and enjoy the peace of present moment awareness. A large body of research has established that having a regular meditation practice produces tangible benefits for mental and physical health, including:

  • Decreased blood pressure and hypertension
  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline
  • More efficient oxygen use by the body
  • Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA
  • Improved immune function
  • Decreased anxiety, depression, and insomnia

 

Makes You Present

This comes about due to your groundedness. When you are grounded, you are more present to your reality. You stop getting caught up by what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. People who are not present are often bogged down by many other things on their mind. They are too busy handling the thoughts in their brain to function in their full capacity in their present moment.

Relaxing your body

To Finally Relax Forget about those little things that used to bother you. Relaxing your body and mind with meditation helps you to stay centered when you inevitably encounter those everyday stressors – rush hour traffic, anyone? Investigators from the Benson-Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital found that practicing meditation causes what is called the “relaxation response”, the opposite of the “fight-or-flight” response – what happens to our bodies when we get stressed. Their studies showed that the relaxation response alleviates anxiety and also has positive effects on heart rate, blood pressure, and brain activity.

You Quit Smoking

A meta-analysis of studies on different programs designed to help quit smoking showed that the positive effect of Transcendental Meditation was 2-5 times larger than for other programs.

One of these studies compared the smokers doing TM to those not practicing the technique.

The study, lasting over two years, demonstrated that the rates of quitting and decreasing smoking increased over time and were the highest for the group who practiced Transcendental Meditation daily.

Knowledge of Self

Meditation enables us to have a deeper understanding of our inner self. Through meditation we can gain a better understanding of our life’s purpose. You start focusing on yourself and feel conscious and make better decision.

Improved long term memory


Research has also found that this increase in grey matter forms in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that turns short term memories into long term memories, eg. helping us to learn and internalize new skills and information.

Keeping the emotions in control


Meditation affects the pre-frontal cortex of your brain, which is busy making decisions and analyzing life around you. This part of the brain is responsible for problem solving and regulating emotions. The more grey matter we have in this part of the brain, the better we are able to deal with our emotions and feelings.

New connections in the brain

Grey matter is the part of the brain where the neurons are connecting to each other and this part is activated when we are learning new skills. When we meditate, we are stimulating growth of new brain cells, which means more grey matter. As we age, we are naturally losing some of the mass of the grey matter, but meditation is said to slow down this process.

How much should we meditate?

To get all these wonderful effects of meditation, how much should we meditate?  You can start with 5 minutes few times a day, and build up to 15-30 minutes daily.

Meditation and mindfulness bring a certain level of calmness into your life, and give you space to reflect on what is happening around you, instead of reacting continuously to every single stimulus that might pass you by (including your own thoughts). You are in better control of your thoughts, your emotions and your reactions, which makes you better able to navigate in life with a purpose, instead of just drifting from one sensation to the next. Well worth those few minutes a day, don’t you think?

Sources:

Why Meditate

pickthebrain.com/blog/4-reasons-you-should-meditate-and-how-to-get-started

what-meditation-does-to-your-brain/

Image Source: pixabay
http://thepsychmind.com/

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