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5 Ways Meditation Affects Your Body

Jun 11, 2019

Meditation is becoming more and more popular as stress levels get higher and higher. You try to juggle way too many things between work and your personal life that you feel like a train running at full speed. The stress of that can really take a toll on your body. One of the easiest ways to combat the effects of stress on the body is one you might not expect, meditation! Although meditation seems like an exercise just for your brain, there are 5 ways meditation affects your body.

You know that physical exercise positively affects your brain, but did you know that mediation has the same affect but on your body? In fact, meditation can be just as important for your body as exercise. Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress but it can only do so much. Stress leads to sleep problems, headaches, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and even weight gain to name a few. Between work and your personal life it can be exhausting. The good news is that meditation will help you fight stress and it’s never been easier to start thanks to apps and the Internet.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is estimated to be over 5,000 years old and is still practiced by Buddhist monks. These monks view meditation as a mental exercise resulting in a calm and luminous mind. They pursue meditation to gain liberation, awakening, and Nirvana. Nowadays meditation is practiced by people around the world for various reasons. It is defined as a mental exercise in which you engage in contemplation or reflection. Meditation is a skill that takes practice and time. It will be difficult to sit with your mind at first but you will discover a sense of calm and clarity over time.

Meditation is a mental exercise and is known for it’s positive affects on the brain. It improves your focus and attention and even your ability to work in stressful situations. It has been proven that long-term meditators are able to process and make decisions faster. Meditation results in heightened emotional intelligence and mental strength. It positively affects your memory and ability to learn, in addition to better self-awareness and compassion. Mindfulness practices can decrease depression, reduce anxiety, and manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There are so many reasons why you should practice meditation when it comes to your brain, but in what ways does it affect your body?

5 Ways Meditation Affects the Body

Strengthens Your Immune System

Meditation reduces your stress levels which means your body doesn’t have to work as hard to protect itself from said stress. This means that your body can spend more time focusing on fighting illnesses and infections. A study from Harvard Medical School proved that those who practice meditation develop higher immunity as a result of improved mitochondrial energy production, consumption, and resiliency. Eating superfoods and meditating will be your first line of defense against cold season.

Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the world. If you are at risk for heart disease, the good news is that meditation can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and even death over time. Just three months of practicing meditation can reduce your blood pressure. Meditation relaxes your body and lowers stress so much that it opens up your blood vessels, increasing blood flow and circulation. Pair meditation with heart healthy foods and your heart will definitely thank you.

Improves Women’s Health

Meditation is proven to be effective at treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Studies have shown that PMS symptoms were reduced by a whopping 58% (which means fewer cramps). Also the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings were reduced with regular meditation. Pregnant women who practice meditation are more likely to deliver a baby full-term with lowered stress and anxiety.

Reduces Inflammation in the Body

Meditation affects your body on a genetic and cellular level. Studies have proven that meditation reduces pro-inflammatory genes – which means that your body can physically recover faster from stress. It also prevents cellular inflammation. Meditation is even more effective than nutritional education, exercise, and music therapy at preventing arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

May Make You Live Longer

By reducing overall day-to-day stress, meditation may slow down how our cells age. Through an increased positive state of mind and hormonal factors you may be able to live longer. This is in addition to the effect meditation has on reducing the risk of heart disease and premature death. Meditation also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Every year more and more studies come back with positive ways meditation affects the body. With nationwide stress levels at a historical highs, we all might need some meditation in our lives. No matter what your sources of stress are, meditation will benefit you in more than one way.

How Can I Practice Meditation?

Whether you’re looking to gain a better sense of calm and clarity or benefit from the health benefits of meditation, we have good news. Practicing meditation has never been easier. There’s a wide selection of apps you can download on your phone or tablet that walk you through basic meditation. There are also guided meditation videos you can find on online. Whether you have 3 minutes or an hour, there’s a meditation exercise for that.

Apps

With just one quick search in your app store for “meditation” and you will find numerous apps with guided meditations and breathing exercises. These include apps such as The Mindfulness App, Headspace, Calm, and buddhify to name a few. Everyone’s mindfulness journey is different so it’s recommended that you download a few to see which one will work best for you. Some of these apps may require subscriptions or in-app purchases.

YouTube

If you’re looking for a free option, YouTube has a crazy amount of guided meditations and music to meditate to. All you need is an internet connection and you can find hours of different kinds of meditations.

Online Guided Meditation Teacher

There are clinical psychologists that offer free samples of online guided meditations. These psychologists may offer guided meditations available to download onto your phone or computer to listen to.

Podcasts

Check out the numerous podcasts that have guided meditations for any topic from breathing exercising to whole body relaxation. They also deal with topics such as grief or self-improvement and even affirmations.

Meditation Centers

A quick search online can direct you to local meditation centers that offer instructors and a group atmosphere. This may also include restorative yoga classes which focus on calming poses.

These 5 ways meditation affects your body are just a few of the reasons why you should make it a part of your daily routine. Learning how to meditate will take time. Yet no matter how you choose to practice meditation, it will be a skill for life and your body will thank you.

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