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Millions of people around the world meditate every day. One of the main reasons is that it enables us to develop our intellectual abilities and to balance our lives in an increasingly demanding and hyperactive environment. Meditation is an easy technique that provides a number of benefits for both mental and physical health.
Here are a the benefits of using proper meditation techniques. This list is not exhaustive.
Reduced heart rate and blood pressure
The pulse rate decreases during meditation, which is beneficial because the heart is working less. For people who have been practicing meditation for several years, this effect tends to persist even outside of meditation sessions.
In general, high blood pressure goes down after about one month of meditation practice, and reaches normal levels after about one year of meditation.
Stimulation of the central nervous system
The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are stimulated by using meditation techniques, which triggers increased blood flow to the extremities (feet, forearms, etc.).
A state of perfect rest, even when active
The state of consciousness that is reached during meditation is considered to be a state of perfect rest, both for the mind and for the body.
Experiments have shown that the reduction in meditators' breathing rates is more significant while they are meditating. This indicates a deeper state of calm. The alpha and the beta waves on the electro-encephalogram (EEG) indicate that a state of profound rest has been achieved. Meditators have shown themselves capable of maintaining this state, even during other activities. They are also more resistant to a stressful environment. In short, their nervous systems are more stable, which helps them to maintain a state of relaxation even outside of meditation practice.
Reduction of stress and of blood cortisol level
Stress is a psychological state that is the opposite of relaxation. Medical science has shown that a high level of cortisol in the blood is indicative of increased stress, and vice versa. Meditators have lower cortisol levels during meditation, and this tends to persist when they are not meditating.
Coherence of brain waves
EEG readings indicate organized and coherent brain functioning during meditation. Imagination, anticipation of consequences, judgment, attention, timing, memory, conceptualization, and abstraction all improve with meditation.
Good meditation techniques will increase creativity
Experiments have found a significant increase in creativity among people using meditations techniques for more than 18 months. These experiments used the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which test the three major aspects of creativity: fluency, flexibility, and originality.
Doctors have shown that IQ stops increasing after the age of 16. Meditators, however, continue to experience a certain amount of growth in their intelligence.
Improved academic performance
Studies of students in university degree programs have shown that those who use meditation techniques have better academic results. Reduced stress levels lead to increases in self-esteem, mental clarity, energy, and creativity; this may be the reason behind these results.
Breaking away from alcohol and cigarettes
People smoke more and drink more alcohol when they are under stress. Practicing meditation makes them more resistant to stress, and tends to help them in giving up alcohol and cigarettes.
Freedom from insomnia
Chronic insomnia is typically caused by deep-seated worry and anxiety. As meditation eliminates stress, the normal sleep cycle is re-established. Two to three months of meditation are enough to yield significant results in overcoming insomnia.
Normalization of weight
Most weight problems are psychological in origin. When people are under stress, they may become bulimic—or, conversely, anorexic. Meditation destroys that stress, and the weight problems along with it. It has been observed that meditators who are overweight lose their extra pounds, while on the other hand, those who are a bit too thin will gain weight.
Improved athletic performance
Just a month and a half to two months of using meditation are sufficient to improve an athlete's performance at sports. This is because meditation techniques help to improve the coordination between mind and body, to reduce reaction time, and to facilitate metabolic functioning.
Improved perceptionMeditators are more aware of and in tune to their environment, and less inclined to daydreaming than others are.
Meditation techniques - Benefits for your mind