Saturday, November 04, 2006

What happens when you meditate?

Many people wonder just how it is that meditation has the effect it does. Today I came across a little article entitled "Meditation – An Amazing Stress Reduction Technique That is Easy to Do". Here's an excerpt that explains how meditation works to reduce stress:
One of the pioneers of serious meditation research was Harvard's Dr. Herbert Benson, whose 1968 book The Relaxation Response showed that meditation had a measurable affect on stress, slowing breathing and heartbeat and lessening the body's natural fight-or-flight response. Meditation will allow you to relax your body and focus your thoughts, thus focusing your mind and allowing you to let go of the day's troubles. It allows your body to refresh its resources, which is good for your immune system, your blood pressure and your mental outlook.

When you meditate, your heart rate and breathing slow down, your blood pressure normalizes, and you use oxygen more efficiently. Your adrenal glands produce less cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline and you produce good, healing. Your mind clears, allowing you harper thought and greater creativity. Meditation has proved beneficial for people trying to give up smoking, drinking and drugs.
Everything that helps motivate us is all to the good. And I do recommend Benson's The Relaxation Response, by the way. It's now a classic.

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