Meditation - Find Peace Within


Everyone understands that if you eat healthy and exercise regularly, your body will in turn function at a elevated level, readily absorbing nutrients and keeping a healthy amount of fat/cholesterol to muscle mass ratio. In turn a multitude of health benefits can be realized such as reduced risk of cardiovascular arrest, disease, increased immunity, increased metabolism, reduced risk of cancer and the list goes on. These are all part of what is driving the recent trend in active and healthy lifestyles, increased want for organic produce and free-range meats and therapeutic benefits from green tea and spices like turmeric and ginger. Granted these changes to a more active lifestyle come with their challenges, and the busy somewhat daunting change can be tough and quick to get you back into old habits!


That is why MEDITATION plays a key role in keeping oneself aligned with your goals and keeping the right attitude needed to achieve them. Mediation for your brain is exactly like what exercise is like for your body, and similarly the benefits felt here will extend into other facets of your life. Think of your brain like a big muscle, and think of your daily routine as a kind of "workout". If you were to go to a gym and everyday you just did the same workout, what would happen? you would barely see any results because your body is used to that workout everyday, there is no change therefore you do not change. When you do the same things over and over again, you strengthen the electrical impulses in your brain that are fired and they subsequently form a "pathway". That is why some things like driving just become second nature over years because it is so ingrained in our brains on how to do something in someway. Routine and habit, itself is not a bad thing, it promotes structure, organization, time management, however it can also promote our bad habits, fast food, blowing off exercise, etc. Here is where meditation comes into play, in order to help juggle everything in our busy lives while enjoying a multitude of other benefits, we must actively "workout" our brains through mediation. As little as 10 minutes a day and you can begin to see positive change in your life, mentally and physically.


Here is a list of benefits found in published research studies over the years:


Brain & Moods:

  • Meditation practices decreases depression

  • Meditation may be effective to treat depression to a similar degree as antidepressant drug therapy”.

  • Meditation practices help regulate mood and anxiety disorders

  • Meditation reduces stress and anxiety in general

  • Meditation helps reduce symptoms of panic disorder

  • Meditation increases grey matter concentration in the brain

  • Meditation acutely improves psychomotor vigilance, and may decrease sleep need

  • Long-term meditation enhances the ability to generate gamma waves in the brain

  • Meditation helps reduce alcohol and substance abuse

Mind & Performance:

  • Meditation improves your focus, attention, and ability to work under stress

  • Meditation improves information processing and decision-making

  • Meditation gives you mental strength, resilience and emotional intelligence

  • Meditation makes you stronger against pain

  • Meditation helps manage ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

  • Meditation increases the ability to keep focus in spite of distractions

  • Meditation improves learning, memory and self-awareness

  • Mindfulness meditation improves rapid memory recall

  • Meditation improves your mood and psychological well-being

  • Meditation helps us allocate limited brain resources

  • Meditation improves visuospatial processing and working memory

  • Meditation prepares you to deal with stressful events

  • Meditation increases awareness of your unconscious mind

  • Mindfulness meditation fosters creativity

Body & Health:

  • Meditation reduces risk of heart diseases and stroke

  • Meditation affects genes that control stress and immunity

  • Meditation reduces blood pressure

  • Mindfulness training decreases inflammatory disorders

  • Mindfulness meditation decreases cellular-level inflammation

  • Mindfulness practice helps prevent asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease

  • Meditation and meditative prayer help treat premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms

  • Mindfulness meditation reduces risk of Alzheimer’s and premature death

  • Mindfulness training is helpful for patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia

  • Meditation helps manage the heart rate and respiratory rate

  • Mindfulness meditation may even help treat HIV

  • Meditation may make you live longer

  • Meditation helps manage psoriasis

  • Health benefits of Transcendental Meditation

Relationships:

  • Loving-kindness meditation improves empathy and positive relationships

  • Loving-kindness meditation also reduces social isolation

  • Meditation increases feelings of compassion and decreases worry

  • Mindfulness meditation decreases feelings of loneliness

  • Meditation reduces emotional eating

School Children and Meditation:

  • reduced depression symptoms

  • reduced somatic stress

  • reduced hostility and conflicts with peers

  • reduced anxiety

  • reduced reactivity

  • reduced substance use

  • increased cognitive retention

  • increased self-care

  • increased optimism and positive emotions

  • increased self-esteem

  • increased feelings of happiness and well-being

  • improved social skills

  • improved sleep

  • improved self-awareness

  • improved academic performance

There were also numerous reports of benefits for teachers and staff, including:

  • increased personal qualities of open-minded curiosity, kindliness, empathy, compassion, acceptance, trust, patience, and non-striving, and the skills of focusing, and paying and switching attention

  • improvements in physical and mental health that tend to follow the learning of mindfulness, including conditions particularly relevant to the teaching profession such as stress and burnout

  • improved teaching self-efficacy

  • improved physical health

  • increased ability to give more appropriate support for students by through being more motivated and autonomous

  • decreased stress

  • increased work motivation

  • improved spatial memory, working memory and sustained attention

Some more interesting facts about meditation:

  • Saying the OM sound before a surgery helps in preparation and recovery

  • Meditators are more able to affect the reality around us, in a quantum level

  • There is also some account of mindfulness meditation improving your sex life

  • Reduces race and age prejudice

In a nutshell, science confirms the experience of millions of practitioners: meditation will keep you healthy, help prevent multiple diseases, make you happier, and improve your performance in basically any task, physical or mental.


However, in order to experience most of these benefits you need to practice meditation consistently (daily). Luckily, you have the wise and warm hearted Shabad-Dev at your disposal to teach you how to mediate to get in touch with your inner yogi. Kundalini in Hamilton is ramping up!