Benefits of Meditation - The Mind Body Connection

Dr. Purushothaman
January 16, 2014

New research has shed light on the fact that there are many benefits of meditation. The benefits of meditation can be explained by the powerful mind-body connection.
"Gradually, study after mind-body study, carried out with the most careful scientific protocols, produced incontrovertible evidence that the mind can indeed influence and heal the body." - Herbert Benson from The Relaxation Revolution
The book The Relaxation Revolution by Herbert Benson is full of studies that scientifically prove that meditation can significantly impact our levels of health.
When we trigger a "relaxation response", through meditation our physiology actually changes. We can experience decreased heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism, and decreased brain activity. These changes are beneficial for our well-being.
Although science has proved the mind body effect, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that relaxation is good for us. Everyone knows that we feel better on a vacation relaxing at the beach instead of at the office. Although stress is a necessary part of our lives, chronic stress can lead to poor emotional and physical health. Since we can't always take a vacation, meditation allows our minds to take a vacation every single day. Best of all, the vacation is free and only requires 10-15 minutes of our time!
When we meditate we take a break from thinking about all the things that are stressing us out such as: work, family, relationships, and finances. By quieting our minds of all their worries, our bodies naturally start to release tension.
Let me explain this concept using a metaphor. Once I was parked on a residential street and I happened to see a little brown mouse in the street and a huge black cat running after it! The mouse was a smart little fellow and decided to stop running and lay still. The cat seemed completely confused by the mouse's actions. Not only did the cat stop chasing the little mouse, she lost interest in the mouse and ran away in the other direction!
In this metaphor the mouse is your mind and the black cat is your worrisome thoughts. As long as your mind is engaged in the worrisome thoughts they will continue to "chase" you. When you meditate and quiet your mind the worrisome thoughts have no more power over you and just like the black cat, they are likely to leave you alone!

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