The benefits of meditation are quite astounding. I’ve been practicing meditation for over 20 years. I think it’s fantastic. Whether you have a health condition or not, mindfulness meditation is going to provide a benefit.
Mindfulness meditation helps with stress and anxiety by inducing the calming alpha wave state. There are seven key neurotransmitters that benefit from meditation. It’s been repeatedly shown that people who meditate every day are calmer, more relaxed, more easy-going, and more productive.
Meditation down-regulates the sympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for the “fight or flight” response. At the same time, meditation upregulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS is in charge of the “rest and digest” response. By taking time for daily mindfulness sessions, digestion improves, including the output of digestive enzymes. Mindfulness meditation can also improve your circulatory system and immune system. By activating the PNS, blood pressure decreases, and the heart slows down.
Your cognitive function can also benefit from daily mindfulness. Short-term memory improves. Meditation is also associated with a reduced risk of neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
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Relationships and interpersonal skills improve with mindfulness. The area of the brain that is involved in fear and anxiety becomes less active, making conflict with others less likely. As an example, consider Buddhist monks. These monks have a regular meditation practice and are known for being pleasant, easy-going, and kind.
There is even research showing that mindfulness meditation can reduce the risk of cancer by preventing genetic damage. Without getting too complicated, meditation helps maintain the length of telomeres, protein complexes at the end of DNA strands. The longer the telomere, the less likely the cell will experience a mutation leading to cancer.
Fortunately, medication isn’t a costly activity. You simply need to make time for it in your daily schedule and then watch the benefits accrue.