The mind and the body are really connected. This does sound a little crazy at first, but meditation can be a game-changer for your overall health and mind. In such a fast-paced society we need it as we are spent. More are depressed, anxious, overworked and are miserable. Many people are so anxious, they just can’t cope, and this is the reason that anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S. For example, anxiety affects over 30 million adults 18 and older, the Anxiety and Depression Association reported. Anxiety has cost the nation billions and has contributed to a $142 billion health bill. Learning to be more in the present, and adding meditation can help change this trend. Before we can understand what meditation is, we need to explore the term.

The American Psychological Association explained that “meditation,” is a state of awareness and is also a practice the promotes that awareness. This is a way we process information. It is a moment-to-moment state. It is a place without judgment. Yet, this simple explanation does not do it justice. The APA also shared that research has showed how combining mindfulness (being present) along with meditation is beneficial to people. Health is one of them. Practicing meditation boosts the immune system, the memory, intuition, helps with fear—along with helping relationships. This is not just limited to sitting still. It is about attaining focus and clarity to help bring the body and mind under control and to encourage a better state. Meditation can drown out the noises in our lives. It can break addiction, narcissism, anger, reduce self-loathing, and teach you to let things go. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, but here are 6 ways it can help you today, and perhaps others in your life.

It helps you relax.

Find a place to be still, and start calming the thoughts down by seeing yourself let go of all the inner chatter. When we are quiet and still, it allows the body and the mind to rest. How can we accomplish this? “We are burdened with negative thoughts, our field of vision narrows,” Joseph Emet wrote in Buddha’s Book of Meditation. Try it for 20 minutes and focus on something that is calming like a meadow, or the ocean. The breathing will become slowed down and you will be and feel more relaxed.

It eases depression.

Scientists believe that we can have over 35,000 thoughts a day! If this all negative, it will impact your mood dramatically. Many people are not aware of how much negative thoughts can hurt. It all has a negative effect on the emotions and life. Meditation can help you focus on what is good. It may be a battle, at first, but once you start getting rid of negative energy that comes with bad thoughts—it will lead you to a calmer state. Additionally, meditation trains you to live in the moment and to retrain the brain. Let go of the fear, anger, and anxieties about the future and in the past.

It helps the physical body.

Meditation does not need to be sitting in a corner, it can be walking. Start walking slowly and observe your environment like the trees, the textures of the leaves. Take a breath and feel the wind caress your neck. This will give you exercise and help your overall health. According, to WebMD, people who meditated regularly for 6 weeks had a better immune system. This also helped people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and those suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease.

It can spark creativity.

Science has studied that meditations effect on the brain, as they found that it increases brain matter and can help creativity. The Chopra Center reported that creativity comes in various forms. When we are not looking so hard to tap into it, it can happen. Start off by listening to guided meditations to walk you through a session as change can spark creativity. “Sometimes change is exactly what’s needed to rev the creative engines," the Chopra Center cited. Take a class, or sit by the ocean and meditate.

It helps with clarity.

Mental perceptions can be positive or negative. When we have too much stimuli that clouds our hearts and minds (social media and traditional media), it can impact our clarity to think. We need to unplug from the things that distract us and burden our minds. You can start by limiting computer time, social media time, reducing the amount of emails read, and texting. Replace the time with meditation. The mind can have better clarity when these distractions are greatly reduced.

It can reduce the signs of aging.

People who meditate have more brain cells, they also have been shown to have longer telomeres, reported the Huffington Post. This has been shown in people who meditate, and that is pretty cool! Sara Lazar is researcher at Harvard University and said in an interview with the site that more studies are supporting this idea. “Cognition seems to be preserved in meditators.”

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