Why Meditation Is Good For Body And Mind

Published in Health & Fitness

The mind and the body are intimately connected. Get your mind right, and in many respects your body will follow. One good way to bring peace to your mind, and thereby to keep your body in good condition, is to practice meditation.

While advanced meditation has great depth and complexity to it, the basics of meditation are simple and easy. Find a quiet place, position yourself in a comfortable pose, and close your eyes. Now concentrate on your breathing, a mantra, or scan through your body parts, briefly focusing on each. Try not to consciously think or let any ideas intrude. For more detailed instructions, take a class on meditation or find a written guide online or in print.

To the cynic, it might seem unlikely that meditation could benefit health in any way — but it does. Meditation is a fantastic way to calm the mind and reduce anxiety. While relieving stress aids well being and happiness, it also makes the body healthier, since excess stress can contribute to digestive problems, heart disease, obesity, and mental disorders like depression and anxiety.

The positive effects meditation has on the body have been demonstrated in numerous studies. Patients who practice meditation have a lower chance of getting heart disease and are less likely to suffer from high blood pressure. Even the immune system’s disease-fighting capabilities are increased by regular meditation. For women, fertility can be boosted by meditation. Finally, multiple digestive disorders have been effectively treated by meditation practices.

All of these benefits accrue because of meditation’s ability to lower stress and increase relaxation. Since stress is very harmful to the body, any technique that can relieve the condition will be very good for health. Besides, remember that meditation’s effects on physical health are only part of the practice’s appeal: the mental clarity and mindfulness that meditation imparts are valuable in their own right.

Clearly, the example of meditation shows how closely mind and body are intertwined. If you want a strong, healthy body, you need to take care of your mind too — meditation is a great way to do so.

Ray Mancini

Author of Zen, Meditation, and the art of shooting