[one_half]Through our senses, we receive so much input in our daily lives — we become over stimulated visually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Not surprisingly, taking a break from this stimulation can actually improve your health. I call it taking time out for time in. Meditation is a practice that gives balance physically, emotionally and mentally. Today, people are using meditation to treat anxiety, stress, and depression. The “deep rest” meditation gives a person dissolves stress and enables him or her to makes better choices through clear thinking.
If you are looking for peace of mind, greater intuition, relaxation, stress reduction, and a deeper connection with your self, others, and the universe, then perhaps it is time start a daily practice of meditation. Meditation enables you to connect with your higher self — where energy, creativity and inner awareness are truly your natural state of being.
Those who meditate report higher levels of self-esteem. The practice has also been used to help people quit smoking, conquer drug and alcohol addictions, reduce blood pressure and reduce symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome and menopause. Meditation aids in lowering heart rate and blood pressure by slowing down breathing, which reduces the amount of oxygen needed. Along with the mind, your muscles will gently relax. Some psychological benefits can be a calmer manner, a clearer mind, being able to be in the present, clarifying your intentions and desires, increased intuition, and developing a peaceful mind.
THERE ARE BOTH PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF MEDITATION. HERE ARE JUST A FEW:
Increased energy and vitality
Clearer connection with your higher self and source
Reduced anxiety and expanded capacity for happiness
Reduced stress and fatigue
Enrichment of all aspects of your life – body, mind, and spirit
Activation of the expansive qualities of the heart, mind, and spirit
Easy access to the power of attention and intention to realize your
Increased occurrence of synchronicities
Improved concentration and focus
Improved eating and sleeping habits
Normalized blood pressure and cholesterol and better overall health
Improved mental clarity
Improved performance, efficiency, and productivity
Increased job satisfaction
Decreased need for addictive substances
Increased self-awareness and self-confidence
Increased fluid intelligence (IQ)
Physiologically, one of the biggest benefits is lowered blood pressure, lowered cholesterol and the general calming of the nervous system. Also, because the mind and body are intimately connected, when the mind settles down, so does the body. This allows for the release of stress-induced physical symptoms. Physical impurities in cells have their equivalents in the mind: fear, anger, greed, compulsivity, doubt, and other negative emotions. Operating at the quantum level, they can be as damaging to us as any chemical toxin. The mind body connection turns negative attitudes into chemical toxins, the so-called “stress hormones” that have been linked to many different diseases. Ayurveda, an ancient approach to health, also known as the science of life and longevity, lumps all negative tendencies together as “mental ama,” which needs to be purified from the mind. But how? It is not possible to purify the mind by thinking about it. An angry mind cannot conquer its own anger; fear cannot quench fear. Instead, a technique is required that goes beyond the domain where fear, anger, and all other forms of mental ama hold sway. This technique is meditation. If properly taught and used, meditation allows a person to become unstuck from the ama in his thoughts and emotions. The value of meditation is studied in classrooms, clinics, research laboratories, and ashrams – and we see it work everyday in ourselves, in those we love, in the world around us and in those we teach. Studies tell us that individuals 40 years and older go to the doctor 73% less often if they have a regular meditation practice. And mediators have 87.3% fewer admissions to the hospital for heart disease, and 55.4% fewer admissions for benign and malignant tumors of all types. A 1974 study conducted at Harvard Medical School (and since repeated in other studies) reported that borderline hypertension often responds extremely well to meditation. Just by practicing meditation, most people under the age of 40 could expect to fall below the limit set for borderline hypertension. Rarely is there a reason not to meditate.