The Health Benefits of Meditation

Have you tried meditation yet? You should. Now more than ever, this relaxation technique is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Sure, there is a bit of an initial learning curve. But once you get the hang of meditating, you’ll have access to a simple method to calm yourself down in almost any situation. The classic image of a guru sitting cross-legged isn’t all there is to meditation — you can just as easily calm your mind while sitting in your car, walking, or even running. It’s just a matter of finding that place of silence within you and learning how to go there at will.

If you need further motivation, here are some of the medically-recognized benefits of meditation.

Manage your stress

Studies have found not only that meditation has a real impact on stress, but also that it tends to be more effective on people suffering from higher levels of stress. There’s an old Zen saying: “You should sit and meditate for 20 minutes a day, unless you are too busy. Then you should meditate for an hour.”

The stress-reducing effects of meditation were acknowledged by two extensive studies, one involving over 3,500 adults, and another looking at 1,300 adults. The meditation method used was simple mindful meditation in both studies. They found that meditation reduces the adverse effects of stress on the body and can lower overall stress levels. More interestingly, meditation also seems to help treat the symptoms of stress-related conditions, such as PTSD, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.

Reduce your anxiety

Stress and anxiety often walk together, and meditation can help you manage both. Anxiety is primarily the body’s reaction to uncertainty. It’s meant to make you alert to deal with the unknown, but it can become chronic and unruly, leading to constant worry and an overall dip in your mental health.

Meditation was shown to reduce the symptoms of a wide variety of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, phobias, paranoia, and OCD. It’s also associated with a reduction in the occurrence and intensity of panic attacks. Mindful meditation is one of the techniques taught to help patients deal with panic attacks. Other methods, such as grounding and breathing exercises, also bear some similarities to mindful meditation.

Forms of moving meditation, such as yoga and Tai Chi, are also known for their anxiolytic properties. Here the benefit is two-fold since both meditation and exercising are known to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Strengthen your mind

Studies have looked at the many ways meditation can affect brain performance. There was a particular interest in observing how it affects the elderly. Meditation appears to help reduce cognitive degeneration in the elderly, and it’s particularly effective for those who are already showing symptoms of dementia, helping slow down their decline. On top of that, meditation has been linked to an increase in many areas of brain performance. Improved areas include memory, attention, and processing speed.

Excited to get started? At first, it may be hard to calm yourself down to a meditative state, but you can use the help of soothing substances like chamomile or CBD to help you get started. If you don’t know yet, check out the best ways to take CBD over at Cibdol.

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