Meditation: Why taking time every day for your mental health is important.

Leah Feingold Health + Wellness

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You may be a little bit skeptical when it comes to exercising your mind as much as you exercise your body, but don’t underestimate the power of meditation. Meditating is simply switching off your mind from everyday worries and shifting your focus to the here and now by paying attention to simple things such as your breathing. It lets you not only achieve a state of relaxation but it has potential to combat serious diseases – emotional, mental and even physical!

The saying ‘mind over matter’ has now been advocated by many doctors in scientists who claim that meditation can accelerate bone healing and improve the immune system. It has been discovered, thanks to modern imaging technology such as MRI, that meditation is not just sorcery, but can be used as legitimate medical aid. Many patients experienced their bones to heal twice as fast as without meditation! Scans show that meditating decreases brain activity such as worrying, lowers stress hormone levels and enables better focus. Without meditation the part of our brain that processes information relating to ourselves and our experiences is strongly connected to pain and fear centers, creating associations. When you experience a scary or upsetting sensation, it triggers a strong reaction in your brain, making you feel scared and stressed.

When we meditate, we weaken these associations. This means that we don’t react as strongly to sensations that might have once been associated with fear or pain. As we weaken this connection, we strengthen the connection between the part of our brains known for reasoning and our bodily sensation and fear centers. So when we experience scary or upsetting sensations, we can more easily look at them rationally. It is truly incredible how meditating can help you control your thoughts!

If you love fitness, you look after your diet and want to live a wholesome, healthy life then you have to take care of yourself with a holistic approach. Get into a habit of meditating and dedicate a few minutes every day to soothe and heal your body and mind. Don’t stress, you don’t have to do the full lotus right away but find a comfortable time and place. Even as you stand in the shower, close your eyes, focus on the sounds and sensation of water, control your breath. At first your mind may drift but be patient. Learning to control and feel your body will be a fantastic addition to your fitness regime and will make you a happier healthier person.