Benefit of mindfulness meditation
What if, in just five minutes a day you could alter how you handle stress in a meaningful way? Well, let this done with mindfulness meditation. Now you think meditation is not for you? Well today
I’ll make you think again with a 5-minute meditation.
Inspired by the ancient Buddhist practice of meditation, American doctors in the 1970s developed a secular version of meditation to combat stress. it called mindfulness meditation. The guiding principle to learn to live in the moment.
Training your brain to stop focusing on past traumas or future stresses. The technique is simple, taking a few minutes each day to concentrate on the breath. And observe the sensations that arise in the body what meditators call a mental body scan. Practitioners claim mindfulness meditation reduces stress and anxiety, and now researchers are backing them up. A new study reveals meditation can actually moderate your body’s production of cortisol, so you feel less stress under pressure.
Other studies show even more tangible health benefits, lower blood pressure and help with pain control. Best of all, Let start, all you need is 5 minutes.
Well here’s the thing, that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about mindfulness meditation this idea that you need to be a Buddhist. Or that you need to subscribe to some Eastern spiritual tradition in order to practice meditation.
And well it’s true that mindfulness meditation is considered the heart of Buddhist meditation. When you look at what we’re doing, we’re just paying attention in the present moment and being aware. And that’s the capacity of mind that’s available to everyone. So this practice of mindfulness is for anybody that’s looking for more clarity and presence in their life. And to looking to come home after a long day of work. And to just actually be home instead of riding the momentum of the day and worrying about all the emails that they had to take care of.
Meditation for healing
When we look at what causes stress, it’s when our perceived demands in any given moment are higher than our personal and social resources to meet those demands.
Now what’s key about that definition is that the perceived demands aspect is very critical. Because our perceived demands at any given moment are usually much greater than our actual demands. For instance, when we’re in the shower in the morning, how many of us are actually in the shower? We’re usually at work already thinking about everything that we have to take care of, everything that needs to get done, and causing ourselves unnecessary stress.
When in reality what’s actually happening is we’re just scrubbing soap on our bodies.
So what the mindfulness allows us to do is to come back into what’s happening right now. And see that you know we’re causing so much stress just by worrying about the future.
When scientists compared the brains of Buddhist monks to new meditators, they found the region of the brain associated with empathy to be much more pronounced in the monks.
It also literally changes your brain waves – and we can measure these frequencies.
Meditators have higher levels of Alpha waves, which have been shown to reduce feelings of negative mood, tension, sadness and anger.
What does mindfulness meditation do
And if that wasn’t enough, it also physically changes our brain shape and size. Studies found that after 8 weeks of a meditation program, the grey matter was denser in areas associated with learning, memory processing, and emotion regulation.
And yet the amygdala, which deals with stress, blood pressure and fear, had decreased grey matter!
When we look at the entire body, not only do we see decreased blood pressure, but it can also increase the variability of your heart rate. While this may sound harmful, it actually plays a critical role in properly transporting Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide throughout your body.
Think you’re getting sick? In a study where both meditators and non-mediators were given the flu virus, meditators were able to produce a greater number of antibodies and had increased immune function.
If we go a little deeper, we can even see changes on a cellular level. Your chromosomes have protective protein complexes called telomeres, which help reduce damage to your DNA and lower cell death. And a shortened telomere length has been linked to several diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Amazingly, when cancer survivors completed a meditation program, their bodies showed significant increases in telomere length. It’s believed that psychological intervention, particularly decreasing stress, has a direct effect on the enzyme telomerase, which has been shown to counteract shortening by adding DNA to the shrinking telomeres.
Of course, meditation is not a substitute for other medical advice or a healthy lifestyle.