Meditation and it’s Health Benefits
Meditation is a process by which practitioners allow their mind to relax and feel rejuvenated. Meditation is about defocusing the mind and becoming thoughtless. The rest and relaxation that can be achieved frees the mind from stress and agitation, allowing the mind to be still, calm and peaceful. This practice originates in ancient India and has since spread throughout the world. Nowadays there are many different forms. It has been adapted over the years to suit the culture where it is practised. For example modern meditation would be quite different to the type which was practiced in ancient India. We shall now look at some of the health benefits that it can provide.
Many studies have been conducted throughout the world proving that regularly practiced meditation can reduce depression. A study was conducted in Belgium involving teenage students. Students were made to follow an in class mindfulness program. The results showed that students that participated in the program reduced indications of depression, anxiety and stress. The study also concluded that these students were less likely to develop pronounced depression like symptoms later on in life.
Meditation has also proven to treat depression in expecting mothers. High risk pregnant women that participated in a ten week mindfulness yoga program saw significant reductions in depressive symptoms. The mother’s also displayed more intense bonding with babies in the womb. This is yet another example of how mindfulness meditation can be effective in treating depression.
Regular practitioners of meditation can improve their mental focus by changing their brain functionality over time. Meditators can calm down brain activity which is related to mind wandering. Studies have found that meditation can increase mental focus and in many cases improve cognitive performance.
A recent study in Italy produced fascinating findings. The research found that meditators compared to non-meditators had more stability in their Ventral posteromedial cortex (vPMC). The vPMC is a region within in the brain that is often associated with spontaneous thoughts and mind-wandering. This study confirmed meditators had increased stability in a region of the brain that is associated with spontaneous thought, this increased stability suggests that meditators can rein in wild thoughts so as they don’t snowball out of control and thus allows them to remain focused.
Meditation Reduces Heart disease
Meditation can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Heart diseases kill many people throughout the world every year. Research has found that people who take mindfulness classes’ can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 48%. Meditation has also been known to decrease stress levels and high blood pressure. The majority of high blood pressure patients show significant drops in blood pressure after 3months of meditation. This reduction is due to the relaxation that is achieved. This state of relaxation results In the formation of nitric oxide, which opens up blood vessels and reduced high blood pressure.
These are just some of the many health benefits meditation can provide. Through the practice of meditation one can achieve happiness, health and an increase in performance. However these benefits will not be achieved over night. In order to achieve these benefits of one must practice consistently over a period of time. If you need help getting started don’t be afraid to get in touch .You can also find professional practitioners on our website Wellbeing.ie