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5 Surprising Benefits of Meditation That Can Boost Your Health & Improve Longevity

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Meditation, meditation, benefits of meditation, health benefits of meditation, meditation benefits, benefits of meditating

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All that time spent working on your six pack can wear you out. Sometimes, you just need to relax and exercise your mind instead.

Meditation helps you stay centered and calm, but the ancient practice can do more than promote inner peace. Not sold? These hidden benefits will give you five new reasons to sit with yourself and your thoughts and meditate – every day.

1. Boost Immunity.

Meditation can increase electrical activity in the brain that may help improve immune function, research shows.1

And mindfulness, a practice in paying attention to your current experience in a non-judgemental way often associated with meditation, helps you know yourself better. That helps all of the other benefits fall into place, shares Michael Bartelle, a yoga and meditation teacher in NYC.

“It helps you recognize that nothing can ever take away from or add to who you really are,” he says. “And when you know that, things just don’t bother you as much. Stress levels fall, so your heart is less at risk, and your system has more energy to bolster your immune system so you don’t have to worry about illness.”

2. Sleep Better.

Practicing deep relaxation techniques during the day can help improve sleep at night, studies show. Researchers from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Illinois divided 11 people between the ages of 25 and 45 who suffered from insomnia into two groups: one received health education while the other received education and also practiced Kriya Yoga, a form of meditation that has been shown to reduce measures of arousal.

Speaking of getting a good night’s sleep, some people opt to use cannabis as a sleep aid, due to its calming properties. With this being said, if this is something that you are considering opting into, knowing that there are weed deals online could help make managing the symptoms of insomnia a lot easier. Additionally, if this is something new to you, but would like to know more information about how the use of CBD products can assist with sleep, you could always check out this blog for a bit more guidance. Hopefully, you’ll find a solution to your Insomnia in no time.

Another option is ear seeds which are a form of acupuncture that uses pressure points to balance your system and induce sleep.

Those who meditated saw improvements in sleep time, sleep efficiency, and sleep quality after just two months. It may also help if you had a decent mattress to complement the role that meditation is playing in your quality of sleep. The Dozy Owl has more on buying a new mattress with different recommendations that will ensure that you pick the right one to help with your insomnia. Who knows, a different mattress may be just what you’re looking for to prolong your new sleeping patterns and to help you sleep better for the foreseeable future.((Meditation May be an Effective Treatment for Insomnia.))

3. Lower Blood Pressure.

One Kent State University study found that mindfulness-based stress reduction, a program that combines yoga and mindfulness meditation, lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure among those with pre-hypertension (higher than 120/80 but lower than 140/90) in eight weeks.2

And the American Heart Association has recommended meditation as an alternative to medication and diet for lowering blood pressure.

4. Feel Less Pain.

Next time you have a headache, you might want to consider meditating. Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that only a little over an hour of meditation can dramatically reduce pain.

In the study, those who practiced meditation saw a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness. Morphine and other pain-relieving drugs, on the other hand, typically only reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent.3

5. Improve Heart Health.

Transcendental Meditation, a 20-minute, twice-daily form of meditation practiced by more than five million people worldwide could lower your risk of heart attack and stroke by almost half when practiced regularly, research suggests.

Meditation has recently been adapted to mindful eating, which helps people break out of mindless eating habits to prevent overeating, shares Susan Albers, Psy.D, a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns, and mindfulness. Eating healthier and the appropriate amounts has serious heart benefits, she says.

“When you eat mindfully, you tune into your hunger and fullness,” she says. “In other words, you hear your body tell you more clearly to ‘stop’ when you are satisfied.”

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photoKristen Domonell is a NASM certified freelance health and fitness writer for Lean It UP and other well-respected print and online publications. When she isn’t poring over new health and fitness studies, you can usually find her in downward facing dog, running, traveling, daydreaming about Costa Rica, and, after years as a “pescetarian,” having serious bacon withdrawals.

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  1. Davidson RJ, Kabat-Zinn J, Schumacher J, Rosenkranz M, Muller D, Santorelli SF, Urbanowski F, Harrington A, Bonus K, Sheridan JF. Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosom Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;65(4):564-70. []
  2. Hughes JW, Fresco DM, Myerscough R, H M van Dulmen M, Carlson LE, Josephson R. Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction for prehypertension. Psychosom Med. 2013 Oct;75(8):721-8. []
  3. Demystifying meditation — brain imaging illustrates how meditation reduces pain []
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