What’s the most effective stress relief around? It isn’t pills or a glass of wine or beer, it’s meditation! As a long time practitioner, I’ve been amazed at the many beneficial “side effects” of meditation including better sleep, release of fear, and improved self confidence. In my teens and twenties I was plagued with an emotional eating disorder, I was well aware of it but never thought to get help and didn’t know who to turn too ( and this was way before I encountered self help gurus like Ganeen Roth.) At the time I had just started to study yoga. Through my new meditation practice, I began to experience and understand the mind body connection. I learned that thoughts can trigger reactions in the body and even how your body will also react before a thought is formed. As I started to experiment with these connections through my regular yoga practice, I saw the possibility of healing my emotional eating through meditation by recognizing and releasing those triggers. Freed from my emotional eating addiction now, for over 12 years, I still marvel at the power of meditation. Science continues to document other ways that mediation can heal you and upgrade your health.
The Science of Meditation
Meditation builds a deeper spiritual connection but it also has amazing, medically proven, benefits that can mean serious healing for your body starting with your grain. First off, it “increases grey-matter density in the hippocampus known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.” That means a more robust, faster working brain, you need that, you want that, we all do! Other studies suggest that meditation makes a better brain because of the synthesis of neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin and norepinephrine).
Meditation’s Effectiveness for Ailments
A mirad of studies have been run on the effectiveness of mediation on debilitating conditions from IBS (which I suffered from most of my life) to depression and anxiety.