Meditation can have both physical and mental health benefits. 

During everyday life we can live in a state of stress, this could be work related or due to relationships or how we view ourselves within the world. When we live in this increased stress state, cortisol (our stress hormone) increases, which means we react differently because we are living in the ‘fight or flight’ scenario. Sometimes we don’t even know we are in this state until we look back and reflect on our day, week, month or even year. When we live in this state, it can increase our blood pressure, anxiety and make us lose sleep. One of the famous studies in the 1970s by Dr Herbert Benson looked into this and he developed an understanding of the ‘relaxation response’, a way our body can neutralise the ‘fight or flight’ response to stressful situations. He found that when people meditated they could relax and by relaxing their heart, their breathing rates slowed down, which then calm blood pressure and muscle tension. By meditating regularly we are living less in the ‘fight or flight’ we react calmer to situations and don’t trigger our stress hormone. 
 
Physically meditation has proven to help people reduce their pain levels and it happens in a number of ways. Meditation ‘rewires’ the brain’s pain pathway. People’s perception of pain can get bigger and bigger every time they experience pain. Over time they can experience their pain with just a single thought. Meditation reduces this response by deactivating the ‘brain pain centre’. Meditation can also unhook your emotional reaction to pain. There are various studies that found patients can get stuck in their pain, their anticipation of pain creates stress, stress leads to physical tension in the body, which leads to more pain. Meditation teaches you how to emotionally detach from your negative thoughts and physical sensations by living in the present moment without judgement. This simple awareness without judging it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ can be empowering. 
 
These are just a few of the many benefits that a regular meditation practise can help with, as with every journey, it is unique to the person exploring it. 
Do you want to know more? 
 
Why not book a 121 guidance chat. 
 
sonia@restoreu.co.uk 
Tagged as: Meditation
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