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Meditation: An Exercise of Healthy Mind

Category: 

Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Aug 11, 2015

meditation tips blog

We all know that the best way to stay healthy is to keep active. Trips to the gym, daily walks in the evening, and playing sports all keep the body in shape. But when we talk about being active, why do we only consider moving our arms and legs? To be truly totally active means involving the mind, as well. Keeping your brain active through metal exercise is just as important as focusing on physical activity. Consistent mental stimulation is believed to help stave off the cognitive disorders that affect so many people later in life such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. And the very best mental activity you can do is one that seeks to slow down your thinking as much as possible: meditation. Here are a few of the many benefits of consistent meditation.

meditation blog image

 

  1. Meditation is healthy for the aging brain. A study from UCLA found that the brains of people who have been meditating for an average of 20 years actually have more grey matter than those who have not meditated consistently. But you don’t need to meditate for 20 years to benefit—the study also found that those who began meditating later in life also had more brain mass than those who did no meditation at all.
  2. Meditation helps cardiovascular and immune health, too. Because meditation reduces stress, it can also lower blood pressure. Some studies have shown that patients who are taking a blood pressure medication may be able to reduce or eliminate their medication entirely. Anecdotal evidence also seems to suggest that people who mediate experience an immunity boost and don’t get sick as often.
  3. A little meditation goes a long way to improving concentration and attention. Here is a great reason to get started with meditation: with only a few days of meditation training, your concentration begins to improve. One study has found that all it takes is two weeks of meditation training to improve focus. People who had just 14 days of meditation training saw an increase of 16 percentile points on their GRE scores.
  4. Meditation can reduce anxiety. If you are stressed out about work, your personal life, or anything else beyond your control, give meditation a try. Meditation helps you become more self-aware, while at the same time reducing distraction by helping you to fixate less on self-centered thoughts. Ironically, this combination helps you to become more confident in yourself while it helps to shed any self-consciousness. For these reasons, meditation can be helpful for individuals with social anxiety.
  5. Meditation can help with depression. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently found that meditation can be just as effective as antidepressants for people who have been diagnosed with clinical depression. Meditation may not be able to “cure” an individual of depression as the disease is quite complicated and individualized, but it can certainly be a tool that counselors, therapists, and patients use to help treat patients who suffer from clinical depression.