New Month Means A New Focus
For the month of May our focus is Meditation! How much do you know about this topic?
Those of you who have meditated before, know that there are endless benefits to the art. The pros outweigh the cons 100-0, as there are absolutely no negative aspects of meditating. Some people can try to argue the fact that it takes time out of your day, but in actuality, that time is being well spent on your health, well-being, destressing, and much more. There are tons of information on the art of meditation, so if you find this article intriguing, I highly encourage you to look deeper into it and find practices that will work well with your lifestyle. Below are just a few of the many, many benefits that meditating can have on your life!
One of the greatest benefits is the control you can have over your mind. Ranging from destressing to anti-depression, meditation can really work wonders on the mind. Time after time, studies have shown that people who practice mindful meditation are less likely to have increase depression. These aren’t random studies either, they were focused on people who normally go through depression during periods in their life. Two examples of this are students between the ages of 12 and 21, many of who can get stuck in depressions at younger ages and make irrational decisions. Another group of people who went through a very similar study were pregnant women. Not just any pregnant women though; ones who were high-risk and already in a state of depression. After a 2+ month study, they were showing great signs of a decrease in their depression.
Stress is another huge factor that takes place in the mind. This may be the most obvious of the bunch, but meditation has been proven to reduce overall stress, which is created and stored in the mind. There is such a thing as Open Monitoring Meditation, which measures brain matter during the practice. It actually shows the reduction of grey matter density, which aids in tolerating the focus of one problem at a time instead of trying to take on the problems in your life and the world all at once.
Here is a not-so-fun fact: Heart disease is the leading cause of death when compared to any and all other illnesses. This is especially important to take note of if you are already at high-risk for heart disease. Some examples that would make you higher risk are aging, family history, poor diet, high blood pressure, etc. So how much can meditation help reduce the risk of heart disease? Studies have shown significant results! One studies that was almost 5 years long, and only conducted on high-risk individuals showed a 48% reduction in their risk for disease and even death. That is an immense increase that shows how much meditation can really improve your overall health.
If that doesn’t convince you, here’s a list of other benefits that have been studied and proven to help through meditation: decreases inflammation, aids in the prevention of lung disease and even Alzheimer’s, improves focus and attention, helps manage psoriasis, really helps with pain relief, aids in decision making, reduces anxiety, and can help with drug abuse, among various other benefits. It seems as though the list is never-ending. Basically, if you haven’t tried meditation, maybe it is time to start. At least give it a chance before coming to any assumptions or conclusions. What do you think? Will you give it a try? If so, let me know in the comments below! If you are already into it, let us all know your thoughts on the matter. Maybe it has helped you in a way that it can help someone else!
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Kim Shapira MS, RD