Do a Google search for the "Benefits of Meditation" and youíll get a mind-boggling 150,000,000 results. Thatís 150 MILLION !!! A Videos search will return an astonishing 89,200,000 results for the word "meditation." Hereís a summary of what the Mayo Medical Clinic has to say about the benefits of meditation:
Mayo Clinic: Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. It produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don't end when your meditation session ends.
Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions. Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.
The emotional benefits of meditation can include:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Building skills to manage your stress
- Increasing self-awareness
- Focusing on the present
- Reducing negative emotions
A growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation. Some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:
- Anxiety disorders
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Sleep problems
Second on the Google search list was an article by an average person who wanted to know what happens to the brain in meditation. His research discovered:
Using MRI technology, scientists have developed a more thorough understanding of whatís taking place in our brains when we meditate. They studied the four major parts of the brain: frontal lobe, parietal lobe, thalamus and reticular formation. The overall difference is that our brains stop processing information as actively as they normally would. We start to show a decrease in beta waves (beta waves indicate that our brains are processing information). This decrease in beta waves is what produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. This effect will occur after a single 20-minute meditation session, even if you have never meditated before.
Third on the list was a website that features an assorted array of university studies on the benefits of meditation. Hereís what it had to say:
INCREASED IMMUNITY: Ohio State University study found that progressive muscular relaxation, when practiced daily, reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence.
EMOTIONAL BALANCE: Meditation helps to let go and free up all the neurotic behavior that results from the existence of a tortured and traumatized ego.
INCREASED FERTILITY: A study at the University of Western Australia found that women are more likely to conceive during periods when they are relaxed rather than stressed. A study at Trakya University in Turkey found that stress reduces sperm count and motility, suggesting relaxation may also boost male fertility.
RELIEVES IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Researchers at the State University of New York found that when patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome began practicing a relaxation meditation twice daily, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhea and constipation decreased significantly.
LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE: Harvard Medical School study found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones.
ANTI-INFLAMATORY: Researchers at Emory University say stress leads to inflammation, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis.
REDUCES THE URGE TO SMOKE CIGARETTES: Scientists from the psychology departments of Texas Tech University and the University of Oregon studied 61 volunteers, including 27 smokers, randomly divided into groups that received meditation training. Two weeks later, after five hours of training, smoking among those in the meditative group decreased by 60 percent.
CALMNESS: Thought is processed differently in those that meditate and those who do not. When a thought occurs, those who practice meditation witness the thought, realize itís just another thought, and it is allowed to blossom and die. In those that do not meditate, when a thought occurs, the thought is the boss, and it instigates a storm that rages on and on.
Next on the Google list was a Huffington Post online newspaper article that highlights 20 benefits of meditation. Iíll just highlight a few I found interesting:
- It lowers stress Ė literally Ė and could help the elderly feel less lonely.
- It lets us get to know our true selves, and makes you a better person.
- You can make better grades in school.
- University of Oregon researchers found that it may change the brain in a protective way against mental illness.
- A study published in the journal of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that meditation continues to work long after you meditate, and it benefits your brainís emotional processing.
- It could make your health care bill a little lower.
- The risk of depression is lowered among teens and among pregnant women.
- It supports your weight-loss goals, and helps you sleep better.
Harvard University researchers found that yoga, meditation and even repetitive prayer and mantras all induced the relaxation effect. They concluded the more these techniques are practiced on a regular basis, the more deeply rooted the benefits will be. They suggest trying one or more of these techniques for 15 minutes once or twice a day.
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