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What Can Meditation Do To Your Body And Brain?

The mind and body are intricately connected in such a way that your mind has a direct impact on your physical health. Your mind is constantly thinking - worrying about deadlines, pondering of the past and future or evaluating your own performance.

But, when you practice meditation, it allows you to train your mind and lets you focus on your awareness of the present moment. This benefits your body in many ways from reducing stress and anxiety to improving heart health.

what does meditation do to the brain

Meditation calms your mind and the relaxed feeling that you get after meditating helps increase metabolism, improves heart rate, lowers blood pressure and improves breathing and brain waves.

What Can Meditation Do To Your Body And Brain?

1. Lowers inflammation
2. Boosts your brain
3. Controls your cravings
4. Fights against premature ageing
5. Boosts mental health
6. Fights pain
7. Boosts immune system
8. Improves heart health

1. Lowers inflammation

In some cases, inflammation is the body's reaction to attack an allergen or infection. But chronic inflammation is an inflammatory response that changes the type of cells present at the site of inflammation. It attacks normal healthy cells and tissues, mistaking it for a pathogen, thereby causing conditions and diseases like diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and so on.

Practicing meditation may help diminish the damaging effects of chronic inflammation.

2. Boosts your brain

A study published in the Psychological Science showed that two weeks of mindfulness meditation improved the GRE reading comprehension scores in people who practiced meditation. It decreases the wandering of mind and improves cognitive performance.

Research shows that meditation can significantly increase greater brain activity called gamma wave activity in areas associated with happiness and learning.

Gamma waves involve mental processes like memory, learning and attention.

3. Controls your cravings

Craving for bad foods isn't healthy for the body and that is where mindfulness meditation comes in. It aids in bringing a curious awareness to the actual experience of craving so that you aren't caught up in it. The more you visualize yourself of resisting food cravings, the quicker the brain reacts and already knows how to act.

4. Fights against premature ageing

One of the most primary causes of ageing is stress. It's because chronic stress increases premature ageing by shortening the DNA, telomeres. Stress caused by things like long-term unemployment, anxiety attacks, etc. can speed up the ageing process. So, meditation can reverse ageing by lengthening telomeres which increases a cell's longevity.

5. Boosts mental health

Meditation can boost your mood overall by slashing the risk of depression because it has a positive effect on your brain chemistry. Research shows that meditation can curb the release of mood-altering cytokines. A cytokine is an inflammatory chemical that may lead to depression over time.

6. Fights pain

If you are suffering from physical pain, meditation helps your brain reframe pain and makes it bearable. It does not exactly reduce the level of pain, but meditation reduces the brain activity in areas associated with the sensation. This lessens the level of pain that you feel.

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7. Boosts immune system

According to a study in Psychosomatic Medicine, participants who practiced meditation had higher levels of antibodies produced against the flu virus. Meditation helps ward off illnesses and infections, thereby reducing the susceptibility to colds.

8. Improves heart health

A study in the American Journal of Hypertension showed that teenagers who meditated for 15 minutes two times a day had a reduced blood pressure level. High blood pressure is known to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

How Often Should You Meditate Every Day?

Choose your free time and meditate every single day for 5-10 minutes instead of meditating once a week for 45 minutes.

RELATED: Box Breathing: A Breathing Technique For Relieving Stress

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    Read more about: meditation body brain
    Story first published: Monday, August 27, 2018, 11:08 [IST]
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