Health is one of the most important aspects of life. Most people strive for optimal health through various methods, some of which can be expensive and time-consuming. There is one priceless activity that has a positive impact on your well-being, meditation.

Meditation is a practice that takes charge, relaxes, and focuses the mind on a particular thing.

In life, health problems arise. Meditation can be a part of the solution. Meditation can help improve mental health, cardiovascular health, and blood health.

Mental Health

Life can be emotionally taxing and stressful. Meditation inhibits the sympathetic nervous system’s response to environmental triggers. Meditation lowers the stress hormone cortisol and increases the sleep hormone melatonin. As a result, stress levels decrease, and the mind is more relaxed for a restful sleep. You can achieve this relaxed state through meditation techniques such as mindfulness exercises, breathing exercises, and reciting positive affirmations.

Consistent meditation can improve various psychological aspects. A study from the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease was conducted to determine the effects of meditation on memory. In a controlled experiment, 60 random older adults with recurring memory loss meditated for 12 minutes daily over 12 weeks. The results proved a positive correlation between meditation and increased cognitive function. The trial participants displayed substantial improvement in memory, sleep, mood, and stress levels. The cognitive enhancements remained for three months following the experiment.

Meditation requires one to be mindful and focus on thoughts. Meditation goes against the self-criticism, self-judgment, and harboring of negative thoughts that depression brings. The mindfulness technique is to acknowledge and accept the negative thoughts then let them go. This rewiring of thought patterns can elevate mood and counteract depressive thoughts. A 2017 study carried out by nursing students even suggested that meditation had a more substantial effect on controlling depression than exercise.

Cardiovascular Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Meditation inhibits the body’s “fight-or-flight response” by activating the “rest-and-digest” response. This slows down the heart rate. Chronic stress can cause heart palpitations due to the increase in adrenaline. As previously discussed, meditation can lower stress and help prevent or treat irregular heartbeats caused by environmental stressors. Maintaining a reasonable heart rate, low-stress levels, and stabilized blood pressure can substantially decrease heart disease risk.

Blood Health

Maintaining blood sugar for diabetes management or prevention is a significant concern for a lot of individuals. The stress hormone cortisol plays a considerable part in glucose levels. When stress increases, cortisol increases and as a result, blood sugar levels increase. Meditation lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Many adults share the concern of high blood pressure. Meditation exercises like deep breathing trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, the opposite of the “fight or flight” response. This relaxing of the body lowers the heart rate and expands the blood vessels. As a result, blood pressure reduces.

The overall balance that meditation brings to the body’s systems keeps hormones like cholesterol from increasing out of control and causing harm to the body.

Meditation has many benefits for overall higher quality of life. The brief period spent on the mental exercises is just a bonus to the plethora of other positive effects on the body. When your mind is sound and focused, it is easier to deal with everyday life stressors.

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