Stress is a major cause of many things such as coronary disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes and high blood pressure. All of these conditions have been shown through scientific research to be lessened or otherwise depleted with the help of meditation. It has been reported that health insurance statistics on people who meditate regularly have shown that they are less prone to illness. The actual statistics showed that those who meditate reduced the likelihood of being hospitalised for coronary disease by 87 %, and the possibility of getting cancer by 55 %.
It is so important to introduce relaxation into your life as this will help reset your mind and stress responses. If you are in a state of chronic stress then you are in the danger zone and are at risk of manifesting disease in both body and mind.
Reflect: On a scale of 1-10, how much do you prioritise relaxation into your life? 1 being rarely and 10 always making time in your life to relax. If you score 8 or less I urge you to take time in your week to do something that reduces your stress levels and any preoccupation you may have to events in your life that are having a negative impact.
Take a break from your normal routine and pick something that you can do easily and effortlessly.
Here are some tips to help you start and take action towards reducing your stress levels and looking after yourself:
- Focus on your breathing
- Listen to music, focus on the music and let other thoughts drift away. Dance to the music. Whistle while you work
- Take a bath and picture yourself in a relaxing place – let your mood drift and your busy mind relax
- Active relaxation – Use a guided relaxation or meditation programme, or attend local meditation/ relaxation classes
- Get creative – being in touch with your artistic side can help you relax
- Spend time in nature. This is good for physical and mental wellbeing
- Do something fun and adventurous
- Laugh with your friends
- Smile even when no one is watching
According to reports, there have been over 1500 separate studies since 1930 related to meditation and its effects on the participants. Some of the statistics on people who meditate include results such as:
- Heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and oxygen consumption are all decreased.
- Meditators are less anxious and nervous.
- Meditators were more independent and self-confident
- People who deliberated daily were less fearful of death.
- 75% of insomniacs who started a daily meditation program were able to fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed.
- Production of the stress hormone Cortisol is greatly decreased, thus making it possible for those people to deal with stress better when it occurs.
- Women with PMS showed symptom improvements after 5 months of steady daily rumination and reflection.
- Thickness of the artery walls decreased which effectively lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke by 8% to 15%.
- Relaxation therapy was helpful in chronic pain patients.
- 60% of anxiety prone people showed marked improvements in anxiety levels after 6-9 months.
It has been documented that people who use meditation and relaxation techniques may be physiologically younger by 12 to 15 years!
Just as stress and other factors affect the body in a negative way how amazing is it to realise that meditation, relaxation, reflection and deliberation can affect the physical body in a positive one.
In either case science and the statistics on people who meditate, has confirmed the positive effects of meditation beyond a shadow of a doubt.