Meditation is personal — it can mean different things to different people. It can consist of five minutes of quiet time, turning off your phone, iPad, computer and television and simply listening to the sound of your own breathing. Or you can leave your hectic world behind for as long as an hour, focusing on a single thought or on many aspects of your life.
Regardless of which approach works best for you, meditation will help you slow down and see the world in a new and different light, and improve your physical and mental health in a variety of ways.
- Relieving Stress
Studies like this one have shown that meditation can go a long way toward removing at least some of the stress from your life, which can help reduce the severity of the symptoms of a wide variety of physical conditions. Less stress also means you’ll sleep better at night and feel better during the day. Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, fatigue and cloudy thinking. Nearly half of the people in the United States have some type of insomnia – you don’t have to be one of them.
- Fighting Pain
Stress can cause physical pain, but meditation offers the potential to increase your pain tolerance and therefore decrease your reliance on drugs. Meditation has been successful as a pain-management tool for those suffering from back pain, headaches and even gastrointestinal issues.
- Lowering Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can cause damage to your heart, arteries, brain, kidneys and eyes for years before symptoms develop, and it also can lead to sexual dysfunction in men, according to the Mayo Clinic. Meanwhile, recent studies have shown that meditation lowers blood pressure — by decreasing the body’s response to stress hormones.
- Improving Digestion
Your digestive system is among the most vulnerable parts of your body when it comes to the effects of stress. Ulcers, acid reflux, diarrhea and constipation all can be caused or at least enhanced by everyday stress. By reducing the stress in your life, meditation significantly improves the efficiency of your digestive system.
- Enhancing Your Mental and Physical Health
A healthy mind and a healthy body go hand-in-hand – it’s unlikely that you will have one without the other. Along those lines, a study conducted by Harvard University at Massachusetts General Hospital found that meditation can rebuild your brain’s gray matter in as little as eight weeks. The bottom line is that meditation can lead you down the road to self-confidence, self-acceptance and the belief that you are a person with a purpose. If your mind is right, chances are your body will be right as well.
You don’t need any special equipment to meditate, and a meditation routine can take only a few minutes out of your busy day. Isn’t it worth the time to improve your mental, emotional and physical health?
Is meditation right for you? To learn more about the issues that affect your mind, and your body, contact the Montana Psychiatry & Brain Center. Visit MtPsychiatry.com or call 406-413-9342.
At Montana Psychiatry & Brain Health Center, we are dedicated to serving the mental health needs of children and adults in our region. We aim to provide compassionate, thoughtful, and comprehensive care by using an integrated approach that focuses on biological, psychological, and social factors that are unique to each patient. We strive for excellence in our delivery of care to restore hope and quality of life for patients and families.
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