- Meditation Reduces Stress – With deep breathing to activate the Parasympathetic nervous system Activating the relaxation response in the body turning off the Sympathetic nervous systems Fight or Flight hold on the mind and body– it slows the heart rate, can reduce blood pressure
- Improves concentration and memory– With an increased mental alertness. The synchronized brain hemispheres, left and right, of the meditator results in increased mental alertness and improved brain function including better focus, more creativity, quicker wit.
Both the long and short term memory hubs, The Hippocampus and the frontal brain lobe, both become well stimulated during meditation
- Encourages a healthy lifestyle – When we feel better about ourselves, which is a result of meditation we tend to want to stay physically healthy – often identifying unhealthy life style habits such as comfort eating – eating when we are not really physically hungry but emotionally lacking. It can help get us up and moving if depression has set in and our motivation for physical health has left us. Feeling more light hearted or happy can help us get off the couch and move. It helps us to get in tune with nature.
- Increases self awareness – When we meditate we often discover underlying causes of physical or emotional pain as we sit as the witness of thought and emotion. Meditation enables us to look at our thoughts and our lives from an emotionally detached perspective – i.e. as the observer sitting on the river bank.
- Increases happiness – By stimulating the “feel-good” prefrontal cortex brain region, those who suffer from depression can benefit from meditation. Creating an increased feeling of happiness in the mind and a zest for life.
- Increases acceptance – Meditation helps us let go of the inner critic – The judge
- Slows aging – In a study conducted at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, meditation was shown to help turn on health-promoting genes that boost immune response, energy metabolism and insulin secretion (which leads to diabetes), and it turned down health-depleting genes linked to stress and inflammation. The study showed changes on a cellular level, essentially turning on clusters of “good” genes that make us healthier, while turning off clusters of “bad” genes that lead to disease.
- Benefits cardiovascular and immune health – The deep breathing exercises central to meditation improve circulation and blood oxygen enrichment sending extra help to all of the organs including the stomach and intestines. In addition to improving digestive systems efficiency, meditation boosts oxygen which helps the immune system, heals the lungs, and improves circulation and benefits the cardiovascular system