You might think that the benefits of meditation are mainly spiritual and psychological, but meditation also benefits your overall physical health. In fact, meditation can be wonderfully de-stressing and is something we should all take the time to do in one form or another – even if it is only a quiet moment sitting in a favourite spot. In this article by Body Kneads Massage we are going to take a look at the many benefits regular meditation can have on your physical, psychological and spiritual health.
Physical Benefits of Meditation
A recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that meditation activates genes that protect us from diseases including arthritis and even cancer. They speculate that the stresses of day to day life gear our bodies for ‘fight or flight’, a condition in which the body switches off ‘non-essential’ genes that would ordinarily help to keep us healthy. Meditation helps to release these stresses and get the body back into a state of relaxation.
The University of Western Australia investigated the effects of meditation on infertile women and found that the de-stressing effect of meditation made it easier to fall pregnant – plus, it’s not only women who benefit in this way. Research at Takya University in Turkey found that meditation also increased sperm production in men!
Of course, stress also causes other problems such as high blood pressure and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It’s also linked to inflammatory conditions that affect the health of the heart and can trigger asthma and skin problems such as psoriasis. Once again, meditation can help! We all know that stress triggers a variety of illnesses. The best way to fight off stress is to relax and meditation is the perfect relaxation aid.
Psychological Benefits of Meditation
Giving your brain a healthy dose of ‘time out’ is just what you need to get it functioning optimally. Because during practiced meditation you learn to control your thoughts, you’re less likely to get upset, suffer from fears and phobias and you’re more likely to get a boost of creativity and productivity. Regular meditation helps us to improve our self-confidence, intuition and self-control, so if you’re trying to get rid of negative thinking or bad habits, give your brain a break and practice meditation techniques.
Proof exists that meditation helps the two hemispheres of your brain to communicate better, leading to better problem solving abilities and increased brain wave coherence. You’re better able to sum up events and react appropriately and of course, you’re less likely to suffer from anger problems, mental breakdowns or more serious forms of mental illness if you meditate often.
Spiritual Benefits of Meditation
Calming your mind and body with meditation helps you to achieve your spiritual goals more easily. No matter what your religion, you will be able to feel closer to your deity and many people use meditation as a toll on their journey to spiritual enlightenment.
Meditation may also make it easier for you to forgive others and yourself. You’ll be more in touch with your own needs and the needs of others. When you find peace of mind, you’re more likely to feel happy and fulfilled and be better able to feel one-ness with the universe.
Living in the moment is something a lot of people find hard to do. Past hurts and worries about the future spoil the enjoyment that can be found in the present and once again, meditation can help in overcoming this problem.
Do you meditate regularly? How do you find that meditation benefits you?
If you are new to meditation you can find some basic tips about how to meditate here.