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Why You Should Incorporate Meditation Into Your Daily Lifestyle

meditation_sunLife is busy, with a multitude of different things to worry about. With either back to back meetings, finals coming up, or children and family to take care of, we often do not consider our own health.

It is a common fact that you should exercise and eat well to live a healthy life. But what is not discussed enough is meditation, and the health benefits it can bring to your life.

  1.  Stress reduction is one of the most common reasons people try meditation. Stress increases your cortisol production, which promotes the release of cytokines (inflammation-promoting chemicals). An 8-week study found that with a mediation program, participants had a decrease in inflammation that was produced by stress. Other studies have also found that meditation may reduce stress, along with stress-related conditions.
  2. Control of anxiety. Less stress translates to less anxiety. Studies performed observed that habitual meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues including social anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
  3. Promotes emotional health. One study that followed 18 volunteers over 3 years found that the that participants experienced long-term decreases in depression with meditation. Also, several studies suggest that meditation may reduce depression by decreasing cytokine (inflammatory chemicals) production.
  4. Increase your focus. A study looked at the effects of an eight-week mindfulness meditation course and found it improved participants’ ability to re-orient and maintain their attention. A similar study showed that human resource workers who regularly practiced mindfulness meditation stayed focused on a task for longer and remembered details of their task better.
  5. Improve sleep. A randomized study found that the group that participated in a mindfulness-based mediation program fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn’t meditate. Additionally, it can help relax your body, release tension, and place you in a peaceful state in which you’re more likely to fall asleep.
  6. Helps control pain. A study looked at the effects of habitual meditation in 3,500 participants. It found that meditation was associated with decreased complaints of chronic or intermittent pain. Many studies found that meditators and non-meditators experienced the same causes of pain, but meditators showed a greater ability to cope with pain and even experienced a reduced sensation of pain.
  7. Can decrease blood pressure. Meditation appears to control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, tension in blood vessels and the “fight-or-flight” response that increases alertness in stressful situations.

The great thing about meditation is that it can be done anywhere. People practice many different forms of meditation, most of which don’t require specialized equipment or space. You can practice with just a few minutes daily. Maybe even consider participating in a class. This can also improve your chances of success by providing a supportive community.

Whatever you choose, try something new in 2020. You never know what great benefits you may get out of it!