Mindful meditation exercises and programs have shown beneficial effects on a variety of medical disorders.
A recent study even revealed that meditation could have similar beneficial effects as medication on anxiety and depression. This would be able to eliminate the potential side effects that medication could produce.
Meditation is thought to reduce stress, improve concentration, encourage a healthy lifestyle, slow aging, increase happiness and self-awareness, and provide cardiovascular and immune health benefits.
By inducing relaxation, meditation increases the compound nitric oxide that causes blood vessels to open up and subsequently, blood pressure to drop. A study published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, showed that 40 to 60 high blood pressure patients who started meditating could stop taking their blood pressure medication. The study also revealed that meditation can improve immunity.
Meditation has the ability to change the brain physiology to slow aging. “Cognition seems to be preserved in meditators,” says Sara Lazar, a researcher at Harvard University. Lazar revealed that those who practice the zen-like exercise has the potential for more gray matter, which translates to more brain cells.
Stress can have major effects on the human body. Such as low energy, headaches, insomnia, low immunity, aches, and pains. With the increase of anxiety diagnoses, there is a rise of anti-anxiety medications. To counter the increase of medication use, meditation can allow people an alternative to reduce stress.
“Studies have shown improved ability to regulate emotions in the brain,” notes Stanford University researcher Emma Seppälä. Meditation can be a form of empowerment for those dealing with anxiety.
Meditation does more than just provide an alternative to medication, it can help improve a person’s everyday lifestyle.
Taking time out of your day on a consistent basis to allow for “mind cleansing” can improve the ability to multitask, provide greater concentration, and increase energy. “Meditation has been linked to a number of things that lead to increased ability to focus, memory, and have seen this at the level of the brain,” says Seppälä.
Ronnie Newman, director of research and health promotion for the Art of Living Foundation, says, “meditation puts you on the fast track to being happy.” Studies have shown that the brain signaling increases in the left side of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for positive emotions. At the same time, activity decreases in the right side, responsible for negative emotions.
Thinking meditation might be for you? Visit www.phenomenex.com/FindZen and scroll down to “Zen for the Mind” for calming recordings to guide you through a mantra-based meditation.
Watch the video below to try this zen-like practice in your lab! Let us know how it helps your day overall.