We’re always told that relaxation and deep breathing are good for our health. But you may not know precisely why meditation and guided relaxation are beneficial. What is it about meditation that helps your body and your mind?
Did you know that meditation changes your body on a genetic level? That’s the results of a study by Harvard Medical School that shows the genes that fight disease become more active when you regularly practice meditation or yoga. In particular, researchers discovered more active genes to protect against high blood pressure and minimize pain.
There are many other benefits of practicing meditation. Many of these benefits are linked to the effects of lowering stress. Stress causes problems with an over-release of cortisol, which weakens your immune system and can raise your blood pressure and heart rate. On the other hand, meditation and relaxation release serotonin, help to lower your heart rate and help to boost your immune system. And the best news is that meditation’s benefits also increase the more you practice.
There are many different forms of meditation. You can choose to meditate for one minute or one hour. There are different ways to meditate, including mantras or guided visualization. While the techniques vary a great deal, the effects are similar. But it would be best to remember that meditation’s relaxation differs from simply sitting on the sofa and watching TV. You only reap the benefits when you learn a technique for meditation that works to release tension directly.
Health Benefits of Meditation
- Meditation Increases Immunity
Meditating appears to help the body improve its immune response, meaning that you can avoid illnesses and stop illnesses from recurring. A study from the Ohio State University discovered how muscular relaxation helped stop breast cancer from returning.
- Meditation Helps with Emotional Balance
Being emotionally balanced means being able to live in the moment without being clouded by the residue of memories and attitudes that may negatively affect the body. Meditation helps health when you can attain a more significant emotional balance, allowing for more expansive and thriving living.
- Meditation May Help Boost Fertility
Studies have shown that the likelihood of conceiving is raised when women are relaxed. It can help to practice meditation when trying to get pregnant, as this may make it easier to achieve. Men may also have their fertility boosted by meditation and guided relaxation – stress may reduce the quality of sperm and also the quantity.
- Meditation Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A study from the State University of New York found that meditation helped people suffering from IBS. When they meditated on a twice-daily basis, they found that their IBS symptoms, like constipation and bloating, got better in a significant way.
- Meditating May Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure
When you meditate regularly, you could find that your blood pressure goes down, similar to the effect of blood pressure-lowering medication. According to experts, this is because meditation helps to cut the ties the body has with stress hormones. The stress hormones do not make the body react so strongly.
- Meditation Has an Anti-Inflammatory Effect
When you are stressed, your body is at risk of inflammation at a cellular level, which is connected to severe conditions like asthma, heart disease, and arthritis. Meditation works, again, because it disconnects the response to stress hormones in a significant way, making it easier to stay calm and to help the body prevent inflammation.
- When You Meditate, You Get the Calmness Benefit
Meditation is a means of stopping the body and the mind from being dominated by thoughts, whether they are positive or negative. When you meditate, you learn to observe thoughts without having to be consumed by them or have to act on them. They are simply there and can come and go without effect. This leads to a calm mind, which leads to less stress and better mental and physical health.
You can get meditation health benefits by regularly carrying out a body scan where you take in how tense you are in certain parts of the body. You can focus on your breathing, repeating a mantra, undergoing a guided imagery session, taking time out to sit and focus on your breath, and through other techniques.
Mediation is a personal thing, and there are many ways you, as an individual, can benefit from the varied techniques. Experiment with which method suits you best, and remember it is better when you do not have to force your body to relax.