Meditation is not just for hippies and gurus anymore. There are endless professional athletes, doctors, and superstars who have decided to try mediation and preach its’ benefits. The masses have begun to open up to the idea of this simple, yet a useful form of relaxation in the past few years; however, meditation has been around for much longer than that. Meditation has a prehistoric origin and can be found in many religious and non-religious practices throughout human history.
As you would expect, some of the earliest records of meditation come out of ancient Hindu traditions passed down through the generations to be brought along with yoga practice to the modern world during the 19th century. Because it has been tried and true for much of the span of human history, meditation is a great tool that can be used in any kind of recovery treatment. Meditation has been proven to be an effective healing activity with many health benefits throughout its’ existence.
Everyone could do with a little less stress in their lives. Meditation releases endorphins in the same way the exercising does. Endorphins reduce stress in the brain. This reduction of stress lets you focus on exploring yourself and your own mind without all of your smaller, but still nagging worries getting in the way.
Meditating lets you learn how to discipline yourself and your mind. And this discipline will be reflected in your life away from meditation as well. Your mind will be able to focus more naturally and you will have increased efficiency.
Since meditation causes the pituitary gland in your brain to secrete endorphins, which are known to elevate your mood and have a positive effect on your whole body. This release of happy juice you will be happier overall. It alters brain activity to enhance the area associated with positive emotional experiences.
By decreasing psychological stress and increasing your ability to cope with stressful situations, meditation can make your blood pressure lower. Both in the short term and later in life, it can make your blood pressure lower.
Practicing meditation in the long term can lead to physical changes in the brain that can help alter your perception of pain. The people who meditate often can experience a lowered sensitivity to pain. Meditation can be a great way of dealing with chronic pain as well.
One of the major points of meditation is to learn how to let your mind direct itself rather than consciously directing it. This non-attachment gives you a better understanding of yourself and a better connection to what is going on in your mind and in your body.
While meditation mostly concentrates on self-growth, it can also improve your social interaction skills. After practicing meditation for a while, your mind will become more focused on compassionate feelings that can be directed toward others. Any amount of meditation practice can make you feel better about dealing with yourself and dealing with others.
Meditation can help you learn to put aside neurotic or unhealthy emotions related to certain situations. Once these negative feelings can be put aside, you may be able to focus on the situation at hand and how you really feel about it rather than having it colored by information that is emotionally triggered rather than logically triggered.
As mentioned above, meditation can help you put aside negative emotions that can taint your response to an emotional situation. It can also help you control your emotions overall. With the help of meditation, if you want to be more positive, you may be able to put aside negativity and bring the positivity to the top. If you want to be more caring, you may be able to focus on the caring expressions you would like to be making. And cast aside the less caring attitudes that you no longer need.
You can still benefit from your brain’s emotional processing even when you are not actively meditating. According to a study done but Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, the brain region with the amygdala responds to emotional stimuli. This response is changeable by meditation. This occurs even when you are not in active meditation.
Achieving the perfect meditative state takes a lifetime of practice. But, along the way, you will pick up some very valuable skills that will almost immediately help make your life and overall health better. There is no doubt that anyone who wants to live a healthier and happier life should try meditation.
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.