The Benefits of Meditation
There are many documented benefits meditation has on the physical body as well as on the mind. As for the physical, science has found that meditation is known to reduce blood pressure, reduce heart rate, reduce breath rate, improve oxygenation, increase the heart rate variability (HRV) which is the ability for the heart to be sensitive to the body's needs by pumping faster or slower at any given time, reduce stress hormones like adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, decrease inflammation, improve the immune system, help maintain and lengthen the telomeres at the ends of our chromosomes which have to do with the aging of the body, decrease the size of the amygdala in the brain which has to do with fear and anxiety, increase the size of the lining of the hippocampus in the brain which has to do with memory and learning, is beneficial for the developing brain in young children, is beneficial for the longevity of the brain in older people, is known to be effective in helping anxiety and depression disorders, decreases the activity of the default mode network in the brain which is associated with the wandering, ruminating mind, and increases the compassion centers of the brain. There are still other physical benefits being discovered today.
The mental benefits of meditation are reducing stress, increasing peace of mind, increasing the ability to focus, decreasing selfishness, increasing love and compassion, increasing presence and appreciation for life, seasoned self-regulation skills, resilience to stress, improving overall centeredness and wellbeing, opening to the bliss of experience, causing spiritual development and realization or awakening experiences.
All of these benefits are guaranteed to occur for people who practice regularly and over a long period of time. It is a method of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being that has been around for thousands of years and has been proven to produce results that accomplish the ultimate potential of human beings. May you be motivated in your practice by reflecting on the many benefits of practicing meditation and may you accomplish them fully.