The Benefits Of Meditation
Meditation has been around for thousands of years, and while it has continuously been a part of Eastern cultures it is more recently gaining in popularity and even being integrated into wellness programs in Western medicine. Numerous studies have shown that regular meditation can work wonders for overall health and wellbeing. Here are some of the specific benefits of this ancient practice.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
In today’s technology-filled, busy world, stress and anxiety can quickly get out of control and lead to depression and dangerous health problems such as high blood pressure or heart conditions. After reviewing close to 19,000 meditation studies, researchers from Johns Hopkins University asserted that meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression and pain. Practicing meditation, even for as little as five or ten minutes a day, can reduce levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone at the root of feelings of anxiety and stress. Meditation can help reduce the effects of stress-related disorders like insomnia, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress syndrome and more.
Assist with Age-Related Memory Loss
Although the studies are still in the early stage, it appears that meditation may hold one key in postponing age-related memory loss. Dementia is greatly exacerbated by stress, and techniques to reduce stress have been shown to improve the symptoms of this condition. In addition, meditation practices that incorporate the recitation of soothing and repetitive chants or mantras may help exercise muscle memory. Meditation can also sharpen mental focus and thereby help improve overall mental stamina.
Aid Digestion and Stomach Conditions
Studies have shown that conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or acid-reflux are closely linked to stress. Since meditation can lower stress hormones, it may be a useful tool to negate or at least significantly reduce the challenging effects of stomach conditions.
Provide a Coping Mechanism for Chronic Pain
Whether you’re recovering from a difficult surgery or extended hospital stay or are dealing with ongoing conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis, coping with chronic pain can be a struggle. Meditation in a non-addictive alternative to opioids and other pain medication. Guided imagery is often successful for retraining the brain to diminish the perception of pain signals in the mind.
Encourage Better Quality Sleep
Who couldn’t use a better night's’ sleep? Meditation helps calm the mind and can also instill a sense of extreme relaxation. If you find that your thoughts are difficult to “quiet” as you settle into bed at night, meditation may help ease your restless mind. Meditation can help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It has also been shown to result in a better quality of sleep.
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The Maples of Towson offers a comprehensive wellness program that includes medical support, fitness programs and a variety of coping strategies to handle age-related stress and anxiety. Learn more about our supportive community or schedule a tour today.