In today's hectic world, it can be difficult to shut off all the "noise" (inner and outer) and experience the deep states of quiet, calm relaxation that are so essential for healing, health & well-being. The connection between the mind and body is so well known & accepted now, that it just can not be ignored. And, it has been well proven that stress is a major contributor to most chronic conditions and disease. Relaxation techniques are no longer just for feeling less stressed, but are needed for regular good health and well-being.
When we experience stress, the sympathetic nervous system & the adrenals react by secreting hormones that mobilize the fight-or-flight response. This creates a number of biological responses such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased glucose levels, muscle tension, sweating, accelerated breathing and more. This can be triggered not only by emergency and trauma but also by everyday worries, tension and pressures. Experiencing this on an ongoing basis (as many of us do) can be very damaging to our health.
Relaxation has the obvious psychological benefits of relieving stress and tension & refreshing and rejuvenating your mind and spirit, but regular deep relaxation can also produce physical changes such as strengthening the immune system & making you less susceptible to viruses and illness, lowering blood pressure & cholesterol levels and many others, thereby decreasing your chances of developing certain health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and many others. When the mind becomes clear and focused, free from planning, worries and other stress, the autonomic nervous system is able to relax the heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, muscles and reduce stress hormone production. Research has shown that regular use of deep relaxation can significantly help any health problem that is caused or exacerbated by chronic stress such as fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal ailments, insomnia, hypertension, anxiety disorders, and many others.
However, these benefits are not obtained from activities such as socializing, watching television or surfing the web (which many people say they do to relax) It is through deeper, more intense relaxation techniques and practices that we reap these health benefits. When you set aside time to truly relax, re-balance & renew, you do your mind & your body a great service, and allow them a greater chance to achieve peace, balance, harmony, healing and wellness.
Practicing meditation helps to quiet down our often restless, busy minds, and helps us to get calm, quiet and still, so that we can connect with our deeper selves and gain some peace and clarity. In current times, our schedules are so hectic and our minds constantly occupied, that we desperately need to take time out to dedicate to our own peace and well-being. Meditation can have amazing benefits, and bring you greater satisfaction and enjoyment in life.
Meditation benefits your mind, body and spirit in so many ways that it should be part of everyone's life. There is nothing to lose by practicing meditation, but there is so much to gain.
Practicing meditation offers many desirable benefits, including, but certainly not limited to : Physiological Benefits:
Reduces heart, respiratory and metabolic rates. This makes it highly beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure.
Lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and provides relief from the adverse health effects of high levels of cortisol, such as decreased immunity, increased fat (especially in abdomen), problems with muscle, connective tissue and bone density, thyroid suppression, and blood sugar imbalances
Improves the level of serotonin in our body. A low level of serotonin is the precursor to problems such as obesity, depression, headache and insomnia.
Regular practice reduces the creation of free radicals that are responsible for tissue damage and premature aging.
Improves the breathing process which has a revitalizing effect on our overall health.
Boosts the immune system and slows down the process of aging.
Can help reduce the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.
Enhances the functioning of the brain and can help with migraines, headaches, and other neurological and nervous system problems.
Meditation is one of the best ways to lower levels of anxiety and stress and is thereby helpful for all stress related issues and conditions.
Helps our mind to enter alpha, theta and delta waves very easily, creating deep levels of relaxation and stress-relief.