Meditation is a technique that teaches you how to redirect your thoughts and focus your minds. As you begin to practice meditation, you will become more aware of your surroundings, your thoughts, and yourself. Meditation helps to decrease your stress levels, enhance your concentration, and improve your sleep. Finally, when you meditate, you will develop a positive outlook and mood and your pain tolerance may increase. Let’s take a look at how meditation impacts your emotional and physical health.
- Improved emotional health – Meditation can improve your emotional health. In fact, it has been shown to reduce negative thoughts and help with depression. When you are stressed, your body releases inflammatory chemicals, these chemicals can affect your mood and lead to depression. Meditation along with specialized supplements can help to decrease inflammatory chemicals.
- Heightened self esteem – Meditation is designed to encourage deeper self reflection. During meditation, you force your body, soul, and mind to slow down, which helps you discover many positive characteristics about yourself. As you begin practicing meditations, you will increase your self awareness, you will be able to examine yourself without judgment. Meditation has been shown to help decrease anxiety, increase self esteem, and reduce the effects of social anxiety.
- Increased concentration and focus – Meditation increases the gray matter in the brain, which is responsible for memory and learning. As you practice meditation, your concentration and decision making increases. Research has shown that you are able to actually improve your attention and awareness. Practicing meditation increases the connectivity in the brain and reduces stress resulting in increased focus and concentration. In fact, many school systems are embracing meditation in the classroom to help improve students’ academic performance.
- Fight addiction – Meditation can help with alcohol and drug addiction. When you meditate, it alters the brain receptors that have been associated with substance abuse. As you meditate, your cravings for drugs or alcohol may be reduced. Furthermore, meditation can help you become more aware of your cravings, which can help you manage them. Studies have shown that meditation provides a therapeutic effect that may regulate the way your brain experiences pleasure, which may help prevent future relapses.
- Reduces pain – Do you suffer from chronic pain? If so, you may benefit from meditation. Numerous studies have shown that meditation can help reduce several types of pain, including acute pain, post surgical pain, and chronic pain. One type of meditation that helps to relax the body and minimize pain is progressive muscle relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is designed to calm and relax the entire body. To perform this type of meditation, lie down in a comfortable position. Then, starting at your head contract one set of muscles as you inhale and then relax your muscles as you exhale, continuing from one muscle group to the next.
- Makes you kinder and more loving – Many people are surprised to learn that meditation can change how they see and treat others. Regular meditation fosters compassion, promotes selflessness, decreases bias, and strengthens empathy. If you are wanting to become more loving, envision your friend or family member during your meditation. During this time, repeat a positive simple word or phrase about the person or your relationship with the person.
- Stress reduction – Stress causes a plethora of issues, including increased cortisol levels, which can lead to systemic inflammation, illness, pain, and disease. Daily meditation calms your body and mind, which reduces cortisol levels and improves your overall health. As you practice meditation, you will learn how to quickly trigger the body’s relaxation response when you become stressed. Furthermore, regular meditation can lead to a decrease in how you respond to stressful situations.
Improves sleep – Sleep problems affect everyone at one time or another.
Meditation can help you learn to control your thoughts, reduce tension, relax your body, and promote peace so you can fall asleep faster. Meditation has been shown to relieve insomnia without medications so you can get to sleep quickly and get a full night’s sleep.
Improves heart health – Meditation can reduce your blood pressure readings. When you have high blood pressure, your heart must work harder. Furthermore, high blood pressure can cause your arteries to narrow (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can lead to a stroke or a heart attack. Meditation relaxes your nerve signals that are responsible for blood vessel tension, your body’s fight or flight response, and the coordination of your heart.
There are many different forms of meditation. Choosing the one that is right for you can be confusing. Let’s take a look at the different types of meditation practices and how you can use them to improve your body, mind, and spirit.
- Concentration meditation is considered the foundation of meditation. Concentration meditation helps improve your thought processes and focus.
- Heart centered meditation is used to quiet your mind and focus on your heart and the energy produced there.
- Mindfulness meditation involves looking at negative thoughts objectively and allow them to pass in order to achieve a sense of calm.
- Tai chi is a form of moving meditation that combines breathing, physical exercise, and focus.
- Transcendental meditation uses a mantra (a positive word or phrase or a particular sound) to quiet your thoughts to help you become more aware.
- Walking meditation helps you focus your mind and body as you practice deep breathing exercises that line up with your footsteps.
You may need to try several different types of meditation to determine which one works best for you. To ensure you meditate regularly, set aside a time to meditate. Creating a peaceful space can help you enter a meditative state quicker. After you have been meditating for a week or two, you will begin noticing an improvement in your stress levels and health.
Stress affects both your body and your mind. When you are stressed, your blood pressure increases, and your adrenal glands pump out stress hormones. If stress becomes chronic, you can develop anxiety, depression, and much more. If you are experiencing chronic stress, talk with the health professionals at Rose Wellness Centerto see how you can lower your stress levels, and improve your health.