Most physicians within the field of traditional medicine not only cite the health benefits of meditation, they actually prescribe it for many of their patients. Most of us are aware that practicing medication can improve our health by doing things like lower our blood pressure. Meditation can even strengthen our immune system and help the body fight off infection and disease. However, there are many other, often overlooked benefits of practicing meditation that you may not be aware of – or need to be reminded of.
Meditation can help you lose weight
At the time this was written one out of every three adults in the United States is obese. Most people don’t understand the difference between being overweight and being obese. If you are overweight, it means you weigh more than an average range relative to your height. If you are obese, it means that you have excessive body fat. More important is the fact that obesity is significantly more dangerous to your health then being overweight.
It comes as no surprise that the cause of obesity – eating more than we should – but the reason why many of us eat more than we should is where meditation comes into play. A large majority of obesity is caused by something called “emotional eating.” Emotional eating is a response to high levels of anxiety, stress, or other mood related states such as sadness, even boredom.
The practice of meditation promotes reduces levels of anxiety and stress, and can also improve our mood. All of which reduces the risk of emotional eating as well as promoting weight loss.
Mediation can make you younger
While this may sound like some crazy claim you’d hear on a late night informercial, there is scientific evidence that meditation can reverse biological age. Biological age is the term used to describe how old someone is physiologically. It is based on how well major body systems are working. Research studies on those who have been practicing meditation regularly for more than 5 years indicates that, on average, these meditators are 12 years younger physiologically than their actual chronological age.
Meditation can relieve insomnia
Research estimates that there are 70 million Americans who suffer from insomnia. Add to that number those who have occasional difficulty getting and staying asleep, and we can see why the pharmaceutical companies are making billions off of sleeping pills both by prescription and over the counter. However, sleeping pills can have detrimental side effects, some of which represent serious risks to your health and well-being.
Practicing meditation at bedtime can be an extremely effective and natural sleeping aid – and the side effects are all positive. Bedtime mediation not only promotes getting to sleep more quickly as well as staying asleep, but has been shown in medical studies to create improvement of sleep in 100% of those in the study and 91% of those who continued to meditate regularly after the study reported that they were able to significantly reduce or eliminate their reliance on sleeping pills.
Meditation helps you remember things
There are many ways to improve your memory and scientists have now included meditation among them. One study involved having people meditate for 40 days. The results were astounding. After the study the people who participated in the study were tested along with a group who had not participated. Researchers were impressed by statistics that showed those who had participated by meditating for 40 days did four times better on memory tests than those who did not.
Meditation frees the creative mind
Creativity is one of the most profound characteristics of being human. Unfortunately, in a world filled with distractions and almost constant stressors, for many of us creativity is stymied. Those who practice meditation benefit by quieting their agitated and anxious mind. Additionally, science suggests that mediation assists in the promotion of what you might call a “free exchange of ideas” between our “creative” right brain and our “rational” left brain. Furthermore, the practice of meditation improves our ability to focus. All of these things encourage creative thinking and new ideas.
Meditation can increase your intelligence
At one time it was felt that a person’s level of intelligence was fixed at birth. In other words, you were stuck with whatever amount of intelligence you happened to be born with. Research now indicates that our brains our much more “plastic” than previously thought, meaning that it is possible to improve IQs. There are various methods shown to improve IQ, and researchers include meditation into this mix. Evidence for this includes measuring muscle mass. Meditation has been shown to increase the muscle mass of the cortex of the brain, what is commonly referred to as “grey matter.” It has been shown that practicing meditation can contribute as much as 20 points to an individuals IQ.
For more, read the original at Quantum Jumping.