What is meditation for?
It gives you control
The ‘fight or flight’ area in your brain shrinks after regular meditation, so the longer you practise, the more control you’ll have over your body’s response to everyday stressors.
By staying in the moment you can also tame your chattering ‘monkey mind’ and let go of negative thoughts.
It reduces inflammation
Long-term practice can reduce inflammation, associated with most major health concerns including heart disease, arthritis, stroke and diabetes.
Meditation has also been found to increase the thickness of the part of your brain associated with memory and cognition.
It switches off your worries
You can learn to access your relaxation response more easily, so effectively you develop the skill to switch off your worries at bedtime; plus lowered stress and anxiety levels add up to better quality slumber overall.
It aids ‘rest and digest’
The slow, steady, controlled breathing that is practised during meditation triggers your parasympathetic nervous response – your ‘rest and digest’ state – which lowers your heart rate, reduces stress and eases muscular tension. It’s like taking an instant chill pill!
It makes you a nicer, happier person
Meditation lights up the part of the brain’s ‘empathy centre’ – meaning your compassion levels get a major boost. It can also strengthen the brain circuits connected to happiness.
To learn how to meditate, click here.
Words: Bonnie Vaughn