It´s highly possible that till now you´ve been associating meditation only with eastern philosophies, esotericism and alternative medicine. Maybe you´ve been seeing it as a dangerous secret of all budhists, hinduists and people pretending to be budhists/ hinduists. Maybe you´ve never heard of a mindfulness technique and you let it to the hippie freaks and eastern addicts.
But meditation is no more only heritage of east, everyday it´s spread more and more on the west. Meditation and mindfulness techniques are nowadays widely used by specialists on brain, psychics, behavior and psychology general. Meditation is taught in schools, army, business (for ex. David Lynch foundation). Western world definitely succumbed to this method which is becoming part of a lifestyle of people of any origin, background, profession. Before you reject it just as another new wave, take a look why scientists find it so useful.
Meditation lower stress – We know very well that stress is reason for many civilization deseases: high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, asthma, depression. According to many researches, meditation with concentrating on breathing and perception of inside stages of body and mind leading to deep relaxation is related to decrease of cortisol – hormone responsible for stress reactions.
Meditation strengthens immune system – In recent article I wrote about how I used to be ill very often. Since I started doing meditation, my immune system became stronger and I didn´t even know why. Researches show why: Cortisol is also responsible for weakening immune system a regular meditation is lowering this level as well as strengthening whole body and mind. Weak immune system reacts generally not very well to the stress situation, while person with good immune system reacts better. Stress simply influences both psychical and physical part too much, and strong body and mind can handle better. Meditation is great prevention for all inflammatory diseases and together with exercising it´s simply the best recipe for current autumn period.
Meditation lowers pain and heals lot of physical deseases – Interesting conclusion was found by Duke University Medical center which studied influence of meditation practice on chronic pain. In eight week program patients with chronic pain of lower back went through loving kindness meditation and the results were amazing. Comparing to the control group their reactions on pain improved and they could handle feelings of pain, eager and sadness better. Medical University of South Carolina confirmed that meditation can have positive effect on wide scale of psychics, physics symptoms – it reduces feelings of anxiety, depression, bad mood, low self-esteem, insomnia, etc.
Meditation improves emotional perceiving and concentration – According to different researches, meditation improves functioning of amygdala – part of the brain responsible for emotional perception. With regular meditation can amygdala get smaller, and your brain can deal with emotions better. Meditation also has positive effect on prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for concentration and memory. With aging is this part degrading, but meditation can slower this process and prevent from Alzheimer. It´s worth seeing this short video explaining why. Amazing how big influence can meditation have on brain.
Meditation improves memory and analytical thinking – Meditation has generally huge effect on mind. Studies showed that experienced meditators had increased their grey matter right in those parts which meditation works with. Grey matter rules all cognitive functions in brain, so mediation gives you a tool how to improve your brain at all fronts. Not coincidentally it´s recommended to the clinic doctors and psychologists to step on the more holistic path, using methods of meditation or mindfulness practice. Body & mind medicine applies these methods already and it´s just matter of time till traditional medicine follows this example.
Meditation improves your relationships – Every love starts with love toward yourself and for many people this is the stumbling block. Feelings of low self-esteem, self-pity, absence of self-confidence and self-love haven´t helped anyone yet. Meditation can normalize also these aspects. “When I don´t meditate I feel so pent up and tense, meditation helps me with self-love and family noticed a change of me being generally more calm and chilled out,” said Georgia which meditates everyday aprox. 30 minutes. According to studies, meditation helps self-conscious, and perceiving of our own which improves understanding what is happening at the conscious level. Person who understands himself well can generally understand others better and therefor accept their behavior. Notice that something is happening and accept it are two positive steps toward happier life and better health.
Moreover meditation, especially practice of loving kindness helps to build your compassion toward others. You´re becoming more open, understanding, patient, generally that kind of partner that anyone wishes to have.
Meditation teaches you to live in presence – All that was said is highly probably true, but at the end the most important fact: Meditation teaches you to live now and here, to live the actual moment of precious present, live more mindful, more conscious. As it was said in previous article, it cleans your glasses to see things clearer. You see what´s going on, what the others are doing and you accept it as a reality. You think more, you ask more, you don´t judge. You stop overreacting, or acting too instinctively. You´re becoming more loving and sensible person. You´re happier and healthier.
It all sounds as a miracle. It doesn´t matter if you believe it or not, still you can try it and see yourself what happens. If you find a while for yourself, it´s eitherway positive. Maybe it will become your new habit that definitely changes your life.
On habits next time. 🙂