Meditation has been an important part of spiritual practices for centuries.
Now, science proves what those of us on a spiritual path already knew – your mind and body are intricately connected and a daily meditation practice is highly recommended for improving all facets of daily life.
Personally, I love seeing the science prove what spirit has shown me!
So, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of meditation from the scientific perspective.
Meditation Improves Cardiovascular Health
Brain imaging has shown that mediation alters your brain in ways that are highly beneficial.
Scientists have links thousands (yes, thousands!) of genes that directly influence your mental state.
Even more telling, research seems to indicate that persistent pessimism increases risk of heart disease, while optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness seem to reduce the risk.
Yes, some people are born with higher risk and some people naturally have sunnier dispositions than others, but making daily meditation a part of your routine actually starts to shift these factors and thus reduces risk of heart disease.
In addition, meditation practices have been shown to optimize LDL and lower blood pressure, cortisol levels, and heart rate. All of these factors are elevated with stress, which meditation reduces.
And since stress is a significant risk factor for heart disease, this is further evidence that daily meditation reduces the risk of heart disease.
This is Your Brain on Meditation
Although your brain isn’t a muscle, it does require “exercise” to stay healthy.
With meditation, the ultimate goal is to draw your attention inward and tune out all other distractions.
This process literally rewires the brain to boost mind and body health.
Science talks about neuroplasticity, which basically is the brain’s ability to transform.
Meditation has been shown to be a transformative experience for human brains.
Short Term Meditation Benefits
Like any healthy practice, meditation has short term and long term benefits. Short term benefits of meditation include:
- Better attention
- Prevent or reduce inflammation
- Lower blood pressure
- Stress reduction
Long Term Meditation Benefits
With consistent, long term practice, meditation has even more amazing benefits for health and wellness. Among these are:
- Greater empathy and kindness
- Improved emotional resiliency
- A demonstrable increase in brain matter in the brain regions related to memory and emotional processing.
There are many different ways to meditate and many ways you can enhance the practice and make it truly your own.