Written by: Jessica Gross
What is meditation?
You might have read definitions on multiple sources, but I would like to keep it simple here. The deep relaxation of your mind is meditation. It is like a multivitamin for the brain. Around 12% of the US population is into the practice of meditating and reaping its benefits. As per the reports of MGH and BHI, meditation has helped in the reduction of health costs of the patients by 43%.
Research Patient Data Registry (RDPR) of Partners HealthCare showed a reduction in healthcare services. Meditation can help reduce the effects of the two most common diseases which are depression and anxiety. The list of the advantages of meditation is extensive. Let us see its elements below.
1. A boon for mothers to be-
According to a study by the University of Michigan Health System, mindfulness meditation has reduced stress and depression symptoms in pregnant women. A miraculous result is the improved bonding of the mother with her child in the womb.
2. Mood regulation and anxiety disorder–
A huge number of well-reputed institutions have conducted studies involving techniques of prayer, yoga, relaxation response. The result has shown the power of meditation in treating anxiety. It is effective to such an extent that it is termed as a similar degree as antidepressant drug therapy.
3. A steep downfall in stress levels–
One of the techniques of meditation, open monitoring meditation if practised regularly can help in the reduction of the grey-matter density in those areas of the brain which are related to stress and anxiety.
The best part of meditating regularly is that it lets the person to be mentally present in the moment and restrains one in getting stuck on any one stimulus.
How does the practice help?
It involves monitoring of the content non-reactively for recognizing the cognitive and emotional patterns.
4. Helps in reducing symptoms of panic disorder–
It has been proved by research which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The journal stated the data of a large number of patients suffering from panic or anxiety disorder. Those patients were subjected to meditation training. Out of all of them, 90% were able to reduce the effects of panic and anxiety.
5. Helps in defeating alcoholism-
Meditation is such a powerful tool that it helps in getting rid of alcohol and substance abuse. Vipassana meditation is expected to make an effective influence on the mind and body.
6. The decline in the chances of stroke and heart disease-
Among the diseases, heart disease is the top reason for the greatest number of deaths. A survey was conducted in which high-risk individuals were asked to either take medicines, proper diet and exercise or take a class on Transcendental meditation.
Meditation helped in lowering the blood pressure and psychosocial stress factors which then resulted in the significant reduction of risk of mortality, stroke and myocardial infarction in coronary heart disease patients.
7. Control of cellular-level inflammation and other inflammatory diseases-
The production of a range of genetic and molecular effects after meditation and mindfulness lifestyle helps in the reduction of levels of pro-inflammatory genes. In addition to it, fast, physical recovery from any kind of depression is one of the key advantages of meditating on a regular basis.
8. Prevention of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis-
The University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted research to see the effect of meditation on stress. The neuroscientists, for promoting well-being, took two groups of people. One of them received mindful training, on the other hand, education, music therapy and exercise were the elements of the treatment of the stress control technique.
The conclusion was astounding as meditation and mindfulness took over the effectiveness of education and exercise. Meditation helped them relieve from inflammatory symptoms.
9. Lowers the risk of Alzheimer and premature death-
Just 30 minutes of meditation, and you will move far away from the sense of loneliness, depression, Alzheimer’s and ultimately premature death.
Thoughts can control your mind, and you have to agree with it. The one who mediates can witness his thoughts, but on the other hand, the one who is too attached with his thoughts act as a victim of his thoughts. This is the key difference which has a huge impact on the lifestyle and determines the quality of life. A meditating person is able to filter the positive thoughts from the destructive ones and nourish himself.
Other mediums to use to switch off stress
Along with meditation and mindfulness, yoga and mantras are helpful in gaining control over your mind and body.
How to do it the simplest way?
- The right phrase here would be scanning of the body.
- Begin from your head going down through your body, observe your feelings.
- Notice the condition of your head and neck. Are they tensed or at peace?
- The next step is spreading the sensations of softness and relaxation.
- As soon as you reach your feet, do at least one more round.
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