Meditation is far more than just a religious practice; it is actually incredibly good for your mental, physical and emotional health. It is great for relieving stress, and has no negative side effects. Below are ten things meditation does to improve your health.
10. Both Mood And Stress Levels Are Greatly Improved
A recent study found that those who meditate, even as little as eleven hours a month, can see both increased cognitive performance, and greatly increased mood. Researchers studied 68 university students over the course of a month, and found that they had an increase in white matter around the anterior cingulate cortex. This is part of your body’s self-regulation system, and is used to control mood, among other things. Those who took part in the study had lower levels of anxiety, anger, fatigue, and depression, than those in the control group. If you are ever in a situation where life is getting you down; don’t get mad, get to meditating.
9. It Can Help Facilitate Psoriasis Treatments
Psoriasis is an immune disorder that causes your body to think that healthy skin cells are diseased, and sends out a signal to create new ones, which leads to far too many new skin cells. This causes scaly, itchy patches on people’s skin, and is believed to lead to an increased risk of stroke. Scientists conducted a study with groups of people about to undergo phototherapy for their psoriasis. One group was given regular guided mindfulness meditation sessions along with the phototherapy, and the control group simply had the phototherapy and nothing else.
After going over the results, the scientists concluded that those who had gone through the guided mindfulness meditation sessions had decreased stress, as well as quicker resolution of their psoriatic lesions. Basically, those who had meditated healed both faster and better.
8. It Can Reduce Your Risk Of Schizophrenia And Other Psychotic Disorders
Scientists at Yale learned that experienced mediators tend to turn off the part of the brain with “me” thoughts, as well as mind-wandering. The researchers believe that these states, in their pathological form, are associated with schizophrenia, autism and anxiety disorders. Meditation allows for people to be more present-centered, instead of self-centered, according to the scientists. It is believed that schizophrenia has a strong genetic factor, but certain circumstances come into play as to whether someone at risk for the disease actually develops it. Meditation could help someone, who might otherwise be at risk, avoid contracting the disease, or at least control their symptoms better.
7. It Can Reduce Cholesterol And Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Scientists discovered, after multiple tests and controls, that a seven-step program in transcendental meditation (which doesn’t require any change in religious or philosophical belief) for just twenty minutes twice a day, can have incredible health benefits. They discovered that this form of meditation can reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It was also found to decrease the effects of problems like angina pectoris and carotid atherosclerosis. The former involves chest pains due to obstruction or spam of the coronary arteries, and the latter is a constriction of the carotid artery. None of those problems sound very good, but transcendental meditation is a great, cost-effective way to help improve symptoms, though treatment should still involve professional medical care.
6. It Can Help Control And Reduce Asthma Symptoms
Scientists studied a group of 70 asthma patients who used inhalers regularly, and had them perform yoga meditation over a three-month period. The members of the case group showed improvement in their pulmonary functions, decreased respiratory rate, less need to use their inhalers, fewer asthma attacks, and a decreased pulse rate. The researchers are not entirely sure what caused these incredible effects on the patients, but they believe it may have something to do with an increased amount of endorphin activity, airway muscle dynamics, and better balance in the autonomic nervous system. We could also go with the fact that those with asthma have trouble breathing properly, and meditation is very focused on improving breathing.
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