The mind-body connection is much more powerful than many people realize. There’s actually a large body of science around the connection between meditation and mindfulness and physical and mental wellbeing. These are just some highlights of the positive benefits.
Anxiety can have profound physical and mental effects ranging from hypertension, depression, and even self-harm. However, a regular meditation practice has been shown to calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure, and improve overall mental health according to the National Institute of Health.
Depression has been linked to difficulty sleeping, gastrointestinal problems, weight gain (or loss), sexual dysfunction, and a laundry list of other chronic health issues. The good news, according to Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, is that research suggests meditation and other mind-body wellness can improve neuro-regulatory modulation to decrease depression and improve brain health.
Memory – and other cognitive functions that regulate emotion and control movement – naturally declines with age. But according to the National Institute of Health, meditation helps the brain produce more gray matter, which helps protect our hippocampus and its vital connection to memory retention and recall.
Stress causes our bodies to release cortisol which, over time, can negatively impact our cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and immune systems. Fortunately, meditation and other mindfulness practices can help reduce stress and its harmful impacts on our bodies, according to the Clinical Psychology Review.
Poor sleep, whether it’s from racing thoughts or an inability to unwind, is linked to increased cognitive impairment, disease, and even accidents. can make it difficult to think clearly, stay focused, and maintain energy throughout the day. Incorporating meditation into our routine has can help us maintain energy during the day and improve sleep quality at night, according to the Oxford Academic.