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Meditation: 5 Amazing Ways it can Benefit You

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Article by Blue Banyan Meditation Products

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In the previous post, Establishing a Meditation Routine we covered how it's the practice of meditation over the long term that produces the most significant benefits. This week, we’ll take a closer look, diving into exactly what some of those benefits are – and how deep they really go.

1. It Can Lower Stress -- On a Biological Level

Most people are aware that meditation can induce a calming effect; that’s easily one of the most compelling reasons to practice it. What you may not know, however, is that meditation can actually lower the levels of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone.

Just in case you’re wondering, that’s a good thing since, according to Psychology Today, high levels of cortisol can:

  • Interfere with learning and memory
  • Lower immune function
  • Lower bone density
  • Increase weight gain
  • Raise blood pressure
  • Raise cholesterol

Additionally, it can increase your susceptibility to mental illness, depression, heart disease, and a lower life expectancy.

2. It Can Make You Happier

According to an article on Forbes, a new review study in the Journal of the American Medical (JAMA) Internal Medicine has found some compelling evidence that mindfulness meditation may actually “… rival antidepressants in easing the symptoms of depression.”

3. It Can Make Your Brain Function Better

Okay, so meditation isn’t going to magically turn you into the world’s next Albert Einstein; however, research has shown some profound effects on the brain, including better focus and increases in working memory.

Take, mindfulness meditation, for example, and think of it like exercise for your brain. While you meditate, you pay attention to when your thoughts drifts, and you bring them back on course. This regular exercise pays off – even when you’re not actually meditating.

According to The New York Times article, “How Meditation Might Boost Your Test Scores,” Santa Barbara researchers, in a study involving 48 University of California undergraduates, discovered an improvement in working memory and higher test scores after only two weeks of mindfulness meditation training.

4. It Can Make You More Fertile

According to Anastasia Stephens of Food Matters, a study conducted by the University of Western Australia revealed that “… women are more likely to conceive during periods when they are relaxed rather than stressed.”

Also, according to Stephens, another study done by Trakya University in Turkey discovered that stress can result in a lowered sperm count. This suggests that reducing stress could help boost sperm count.

5. It Can Alter Your DNA -- For the Better

According to a Harvard University study in 2008, significant evidence was found linking the Relaxation Response – the physiological reaction of our body to types of meditation, yoga, tai chi, and so on – to a change in the activation or deactivation of certain genes.

Which genes, you ask? Well, from careful analysis of the blood samples, the scientists discovered that over 2,000 genes were affected, either up-regulating genes responsible for good health or down-regulating genes responsible for illness. Pretty nifty, huh?

Do you have a favorite benefit that isn’t listed above? Would you like to know more about how beneficial meditation can be? Feel free to leave your questions or comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

22 Mar 2014

Article/Information supplied by Blue Banyan Meditation Products

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.