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Mental Health Monday: The Benefits of Meditation

I spent this past spring break at my best friend’s house in Boulder, CO. Her mom recently took up meditation, and had a new-age meditation master/life coach come to the house three times during the week that we were visiting. He wasn’t a traditional Buddhist, and rather explained the benefits and effects of meditation from a quantum physics standpoint. To be totally honest, he talked a lot. Like a lot. But I truly enjoyed the hours of meditation, and they left me feeling at peace and clear headed for days to come. After further investigation, I found that meditation has both physiological and physical benefits.

 

 

Physically, mediation leads to:

·      Heightens immune function

·      Increases serotonin production which improves mood and behavior

·      Decreases muscle tension related pain, such as tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems

·      Lowers the level of blood lactate, which decreases anxiety

·      Lowers blood pressure

 

Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into a theta state. Mentally, this leads to:

·      Increased self and spatial awareness

·      Sharpened the mind by clearing out extraneous thoughts and allows for better focus

·      Putting problems into perspective (clearing your mind)

·      Increased feelings of peace and wellbeing

·      Increased intuition and creativity by decreasing extraneous thoughts

·      Decreased anxiety and increased happiness

·      Emotional stability

 

There are many ways to get involved with meditation, both through group meditations and self-guided meditation. There are many groups in and around campus (for example: http://www.pennmedicine.org/mindfulness/), and books available on meditation if you are interested in getting involved to reap the many benefits!

 

Source: http://www.artofliving.org/meditation/meditation-for-you/benefits-of-meditation

Image source: http://chakrameditationtoday.com

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