Meditation Benefits Individuals from All Walks of Life
When you imagine the type of person who practices meditation, a professional basketball player probably doesn’t immediately spring to mind. However, professional athletes such as Kristop Porzingis of the New York Knicks, are quick to credit meditation with helping them manage stress, maintain focus and be the best that they can be.
Porzingis was diagnosed with anemia as a teenager. While he no longer suffers from the condition, he still burns iron quickly, especially in mentally or physically stressful situations, which leads to fatigue and sleepiness. He says meditation helps to control stress by allowing him to breathe and disconnect his mind when there is too much going on, something that can happen a lot in places like New York City.
Reggie W. Zephyrin of JadeDragon Kung Fu specializes in mind and body disciplines and understands how essential meditation is to balancing the mind, body and spirit. Meditation helps an individual to experience his or her essential nature. To put it in the simplest terms, mediation allows a person to relax and become present in the moment. This can be achieved through methods such as breathing exercises, guided meditations or repeating mantras.
A study conducted at Harvard Medical School followed 16 participants in an eight-week study on meditation. Participants engaged in weekly meetings and guided meditation. MRI images were taken of these participants, as well as individuals who did not meditate. The results were significant.
Not only did those who meditated over the eight weeks report acting with more awareness, their MRI images showed an increase in gray matter in areas of the brain associated with empathy, introspection, learning and memory. Anxiety, fear and stress also decreased.
While meditation can be challenging to master, it is well worth the effort. Here are just some of the many benefits medical researchers have attributed to meditation:
- Stress reduction and lower levels of anxiety
- Improved emotional health
- Enhanced self-awareness
- Greater attention span
- Reduction in age-related memory loss
- Improved sleep
- Pain control
- Decreased blood pressure
You may think you don’t have time to meditate but, the fact is, the busier and more hectic your lifestyle, the more important meditation is for you. No matter what your age, background or profession, mediation will bring you a level of inner peace you could never have imagined.