There are many benefits of meditation such as easing anxiety, improving emotional health and enhancing self-awareness. But how does meditation reduce stress?
Meditation Is A Stress Reduction Tool.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is meditation. Linda Benn has been guiding people on this journey for 20 years.. When we meditate, we access the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the ‘slow me down’ part for ‘inner quiet’ that reverses the sympathetic nervous system of the ‘fight-or-flight’ response.
For thousands of years, in many different cultures, meditation has been practiced. Meditation decreases the production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. This in turn can reduce blood pressure, hypertension, and insomnia.
Meditation triggers the brain to release natural chemicals – dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These enhance our well-being, our focus and our feelings of calm. We often call these hormones the ‘happy hormones’.
The production of an anti-aging hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is also triggered in the act of meditation. This sets up the simultaneous release of a number of neurotransmitters – something that no single drug can do – and without the side effects.
Research shows that maintaining an ongoing habit of meditation may help you create a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance. A habitual practice of training your mind to focus may increase memory and mental clarity. These benefits can help fight age-related memory loss and dementia. Also by redirecting your thoughts can reduce phobias, anxiety and mental health issues such as depression. You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. A variety of meditation techniques can help you relax and control the “runaway” thoughts that can interfere with sleep. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration.
Who Can Benefit From Meditation?
Anyone. That’s the quick answer. A study by the Chopra Centre found that after a six-day meditation retreat, new meditators experienced:
>significant improvements in immune function
>reduction of depressive symptoms
>suppression of stress-related responses such as inflammation
The effects lasted up to 10 months after the retreat.
Many people believe it will take them months or even years to learn how to meditate. They don’t have hours each day available for meditation which prevents them from even exploring getting started.
However, research shows that meditating even for just 5 to 10 minutes each day, can produce many healing benefits.