â€śAcknowledge the chaotic mental chatter that resounds throughout your mindâ€¦Meditate with the breath to quiet the mind.â€ť – Dashama, Journey to Joyful
Meditation is said to heal the body and mind. But how? Though meditation is sometimes cast off as merely a pseudoscience, here are three major incentives to incorporate meditation in your daily life now:
Fight the Effects of Aging
According to the Shamatha Projectâ€”the most comprehensive study on the psychological and physiological underpinnings of meditation to dateâ€”meditation protects the caps called telomeres on the ends of our chromosomes which may in turn delay the aging process.
Lower Your Stress Levels
â€śAfter short courses of mindfulness meditation, people produce less of the stress hormone cortisol, and mount a smaller inflammatory response to stress. One study linked meditators’ lower stress to changes in the amygdala â€“ a brain area involved in fear and the response to threat.â€ť --The Guardian
Improve Your Overall Well-Being
Meditation heals psychological and emotional functioning. Observing our thoughts and feelings mindfully allow us to stop reacting to them negatively. Participants in the Shamatha Project also reported increases over time in overall well-being that endured up to 5 months after their meditation training.
While meditation encourages us into a state of relaxation, brain-imaging studies also suggest that it can cause physical changes to regions involved in learning, emotion regulation, and cognitive processing in the brain as well.
Do you believe there is any scientific credibility to these claims? Will you meditate today?
Image byÂ Wiertz SĂ©bastien on Flickr Courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing
Presence Meditation by Jens-Erik Risom
First developed as a short manual for students in a yearlong meditation course, Presence Meditation offers a step-by-step program for increasing self-awareness through simple but revelatory exercises. The practice of presence meditation involves becoming present to whatever is going on and letting things be just as they are. This awareness is characterized by open attention and neutral observation, which increases the capacity to observe without judging, enables transformation without forcing, and opens the way to a more immediate sense of meaning and joy in life.