Often we get overwhelmed in the course of our daily life. This can lead to stress and tensions that can ultimately affect our health. Using meditation on a regular basis gives our mind a chance to quiet itself and adjust to the stresses and strains that are part and parcel of our modern daily life.
Meditation is a useful tool to help us overcome stress and find inner peace. The essence of meditation is to quiet the mind. Each day thousands of thoughts race through our mind. As a result, we do not have a clear and focused mind.
Meditation produces the following results in the body:
• During meditation, oxygen consumption drops by 10 to 20 percent and it produces a deeper state of rest than sleep. In fact, 75 percent of insomniacs were able to sleep normally when they meditated
• Meditation is the only activity that reduces blood lactate, a marker of stress and anxiety
• Meditation decreases the stress hormone, cortisol, and increases the calming hormones melatonin and serotonin.
• Meditators secrete more of the youth-related hormone DHEA as they age than nonmeditators. Meditating 45-year-old males have an average of 23 percent more DHEA than nonmeditators, and meditating females have an average of 47 percent more. DHEA is a supplement labeled for anti-aging benefits because it lowers stress, heightens memory, preserves sexual function, and helps control weight.
• Meditation has a profound effect upon three key indicators of aging: (1) hearing ability, (2) it lowers blood pressure, and (3) helps close object vision.
• Long-term meditators experience 80 percent less heart disease and 55 percent less cancer than nonmeditators. (Psychosomatic Medicine 49 (1987): 493-507)