How awesome is the Buddhist monk, Mingyur Rinpoche? He’s spot on when describes our minds like a little monkey brain that’s running nonstop and he’s pretty funny too. If you missed his video check out my previous blog post here.
But hey, even though some of us may have a monkey brain and get caught up in the buzz of daily life there are ways to quickly and easily find the inner calm and serenity we seek. So keep reading to learn about 4 Instant Benefits of Meditation. :)
1. Reduces stress and anxiety
Ever feel like you’re in the eye of a shit storm and can’t get out? Just sit down and do what each of us does automatically without thinking - BREATHE.
One study showed that meditators were more able to “attend moment-to-moment to the stream of stimuli to which they are exposed and less likely to ‘get stuck’ on any one stimulus. ”
2. Increases focus and mental clarity:
Meditation and mindfulness helps people work more efficiently and complete tasks (goal crusher anyone?) (Hölzel et al)
Major corporations are including meditation into their culture by building dedicated meditation & relaxation rooms and daily group practice (Source: Shape)
3. Lowers blood pressure
I’m sure we’ve all experienced some form of stress or anxiety where our hearts are racing right? One of the instant benefits of meditation is lowering heart rate and blood pressure follows allowing us to feel more calm and grounded in just a few seconds or minutes.
4. Improves immune function
A study from Harvard Medical School demonstrates that, after practicing yoga and meditation, the individuals had improved mitochondrial energy production, consumption and resiliency. This improvement develops a higher immunity in the system and resilience to stress. (Bhasin et al)
People who were given the flu vaccine then meditated showed higher levels of antibodies to influenza after an 8-week mindfulness meditation routine. (Davidson et al , 2003)
The benefits of meditation are so vast and we don’t fully understand the details on how it changes so many bodily functions, but it’s clear that it does wonders for our minds and bodies!
And because I love throwing in cool videos to send you off with some food for thought here’s a great talk about meditation by an ex-monk and mindfulness meditation expert, Andy Puddicombe. Enjoy and remember to take care of your brain!
Bhasin MK1, Dusek JA, Chang BH, Joseph MG, Denninger JW, Fricchione GL, Benson H, Libermann TA. 2013. Relaxation response induces temporal transcriptome changes in energy metabolism, insulin secretion and inflammatory pathways. PLoS One. 2013 May 1;8(5):e62817
Davidson RJ, Kabat-Zinn J, Schumacher J, Rosenkranz M, Muller D, Santorelli SF, Urbanowski F, Harrington A, Bonus K, Sheridan JF. 2003. Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosom Med. Jul-Aug;65(4):564-70.
Britta K. Hölzel,* James Carmody, Mark Vangel, Christina Congleton, Sita M. Yerramsetti, Tim Gard, and Sara W. Lazara. 2011. Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Res. Jan 30; 191(1): 36–43.
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