Meditation, when used as a health tool, can significantly increase an individual’s sense of well-being, while simultaneously reducing stress. Abundant research has shown that meditation can lower blood pressure, ease chronic pain, reduce stress and depression, improve concentration, and even boost the immune system. All of this from the basic practice of sitting and quieting the mind. There are so many external stressors in today’s society that finding a way to slow down and focus the mind will do wonders for the body.
Charles L. Raison, MD is the clinical director of the Mind-Body program at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and has participated in a study on just how meditation can improve physical and emotional responses to stress. What he has found is that stress reduction is the key component of the health benefits of meditation. No matter who the patient is they will benefit from stress reduction because it will enable their minds and bodies to better handle any health issues that may be present. Even if the only concern is an inability to sleep, meditation can help with that too.
Stress is a contributor to all major modern killers like cancer. When you think about it, it is actually quite hard to have a disease that does not include or create stress in some way. In severe cases, stress can even be a cause of the ailment. Finding a way to minimize or remove stress altogether can only be of great benefit to the entirety of a person’s health.
Many people view meditative practices as hippy dippy techniques, and don’t give them adequate credit for their proven positive impact on overall health. Many are under the impression that sitting with legs crossed fingertips touching saying “ohm” is the only way to practice meditation, when in reality the only requirement of the practice is to narrow your mental focus and still the body. This does not necessarily require a specific posture, although some are known to be more effective than others. You can find alternative ways to achieve the same end. Some popular, less demanding methods include counting breaths, staring at a candle, or sitting quietly – the only real challenge is finding a way that works for you.
It feels like common sense that taking ten or twenty minutes out of your day to sit quietly, breathing deeply is a great way to unwind and relax, but so many people are unable or unaware of the benefits of meditation. Call it mediation, call it sitting, call it quiet time; taking a moment to focus your energy and calm the mind will reduce stress, promote well-being, and help bring you back into the present which is all your ever have anyway. People that live in the present experience a greater sense of well-being, and are much less prone to stress. Try for yourself and experience the health benefits of medication personally.