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Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is a simple practice of getting into a state of relaxation while sitting or lying down, preferably in a quiet and conducive environment. However, when stressed, and with great concentration, meditation can be done anywhere and anytime. The objective is to quiet the activities of the mind and body in a focused fashion as a means to regain homeostasis under stressful circumstances.

Grroup meditation, even though there won't be complete silence or free of distractions, is the feeling of camaraderie that being part of the group generates. It has the power to awaken awareness of our link to a worldwide family. The benefits of this practice is exponential for adults and kids alike. It can improve or enhance psychological wellness, which is why people choose to meditate. By reducing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system responsible for the fight-or-flight response, it increases parasympathetic nervous system activity at the same time. This is important because lowering heart rate while improving blood flow makes the entire body feel nourished and energized. Meditation helps in the following ways:

  • Combats the effects of chronic conditions and diseases

  • Reduces sleep problems and chronic pain

  • Improves body luster and general health

  • Trains one to focus and concentrate in the present for minutes at a time, building to longer periods

  • Decreases respiratory rate and oxygen consumption

  • Increases blood flow while slowing down heart rate

  • Increases exercise tolerance

  • Leads to a deeper level of relaxation

  • Brings down blood pressure

  • Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate

  • Decreases muscle tension (any pain due to tension) and headaches

  • Builds self-confidence

  • Increases serotonin production that influences mood and behavior associated with depression, obesity, insomnia, and headaches

  • Reduces Premenstrual Syndrome

  • Helps in post-operative healing

  • Enhances the immune system

  • Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress

Tips to have a successful experience

It is easier to meditate without outside distractions, especially if you are doing mental mantra repetitions.

Pick a place to meditate where you won't be disturbed.

If you want a quieter experience in group meditation, wear special noise blocking headphones or headset to listen to a repetitive noise of your own preference, such as a waterfall or waves crashing on the shore.

Depending on the type of meditation practice, you may be required to sit, stand, lie down, or even walk; this is important to keep in mind if you have a condition affecting movement.

Have what makes you comfortable, such as a pillow, blanket, mat, chair, cushion, and ambient temperature.

Breath - make sure you follow you breathe in meditative rhythm; close your eyes, and completely relax your total body.

Meditate for at least five minutes, and build up your ability to focus longer where your mind is quiet and receptive to messages that may come through.

Find meaningful words to concentrate on or repeat quietly to yourself until you learn to fully let go in total silence.

A few stages to experience while learning to meditate

  • Get acclimated to sitting still and not necessarily falling asleep

  • Develop the ability to turn your attention inward

  • Become more focused and block out distractions

  • Feel more relaxed before, during, and after

  • Notice moments when your mind settles

  • Experience glimpses of stillness and peace

Studies, Research, and Findings for Practicing Meditation

A study published in the April 2009 issue of "Preventing Chronic Disease" found that a quarter of surveyed arthritis patients used either meditation or some form of religious or spiritual practice to alleviate their condition. Findings in a February 2008 study in "Pain" suggest that mindfulness meditation can reduce symptoms associated with chronic back pain in older adults. Participants meditated about four days per week for approximately thirty minutes. Many medical facilities offer meditation and similar therapies for cancer patients. Meditation helps reduce the patients' sleeping problems and chronic pain, according to an article in the October 2009 issue of "Preventing Chronic Disease."

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found in a 2007 survey that 9.4 percent of adults and 1 percent of minors who responded practiced meditation in the previous year. These findings are representative of over 20 million Americans. Meditation has garnered substantial popularity for its suspected psychological and physical health benefits.

Studies have found a direct correlation between concentration exercises (meditation) and enhanced performance level of sports professionals because it strengthens the mind. It comes under control and is able to provide effective guidance to the physical body to effectively execute all its projects. Psychological exercises are a powerful way of improving concentration and improving mental strength.

Studies and research have shown and proven that workplaces offering massage, yoga, and meditation, even if only for 5 minutes each day, have more productive employees with less stress, increased focus, and simply, much happier and satisfied at their jobs.

Research has revealed that meditation increases activity of 'natural-killer cells' that obliterate bacteria and cancer cells.

DISCLAIMER: Meditation is not a substitute for medical care. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You should consult with the appropriate health practitioner in case of any medical condition.

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