by Naomi Ozaniec
Meditation is good for you – that’s official. The western approach is always that of empirical research, but now a considerable body of evidence proves that meditation really is good for mind, body, and spirit.
Meditation is holistic; it brings benefit to all areas of life by creating a deeper sense of connection with the world, a sense of purpose, happiness, contentment, greater physical vitality, self-control and enhanced confidence. Regular meditation creates positive mental states which in turn have positive physiological effects on blood flow, oxygen consumption, respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure and carbon dioxide elimination in the muscles. Specific mental imagery and conscious breathing brings a multidimensional and interactive physical effect, stressful situations, post-operative recovery, self-healing and health generally will benefit from regular meditation. The chemical, electrical and neural effects in the brain created by regular periods of calming and positive mental activity brings a wide range of benefits including an enhancement of athletic or sporting performance skills, a lowering of stress-related chemistry and general improvements in psychological health.
Western scientific method recently has shown that the practice of meditation improves cognitive task performance, increases mental concentration, reduces susceptibility to stress and anxiety, enhances motor skills, increases exercise tolerance, sharpens perceptions, improves concentration, maintains health, provides a general positive outlook on life, and fosters the development of personal meaning. The East has known this for much longer.
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