Recently, I was reading the book Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra, this amazing book beautifully explains Ayurveda from a physics and medicinal point of view giving intriguing research studies to back up the content. One area that really sparked my attention was about meditation. I've always known meditation was good for me and heard about successful people making it a daily practice, but sometimes I don't always remember to do it or make time to meditate. Well, after reading this book, especially the passage about meditation, I have every reason to make meditation as part of my daily practice that is a NON NEGOTIABLE.
Anti-aging Properties: Meditation produces naturally occurring chemicals that keep the body staying young. One of those chemicals in particular is DHEA (dehydroepiadrosterone) that's produced in our adrenal glands. (The adrenal glands sit right above our cute kidneys, located in the mid back of the body and help us combat stress.) Chopra mentions on page 221, that "this biochemical clue gives support to the experience of people meditation who often report that they feel mentally and physically younger."
Increased focus: Meditation assists with calming the chatter of the mind by allowing one to observe his or her thoughts instead of being caught up in the thoughts. The longer one chooses to practice meditation, he or she can begin to control thoughts and not allow thoughts to get in the way of the present moment.
Helps to stop addictions: From drugs, alcohol, to emotional eating. On page 201 and 202, Chopra shares a handful of studies on meditation and addition that back up this theory, here's one case, "In 1972, physiologist Robert Keith Wallace and coworkers surveyed 1,860 meditators, mainly college students, about their use of all kinds of drugs...the longer the students practiced meditation, the less their dependence on drugs, until after twenty-one months, most stopped abusing all together...All these findings were based on people who had had no involvement in any sort of rehabilitation."
Improves memory and learning: While meditating, the brain begins to shift, especially the grey matter which gets increased. This area of the brain is responsible for memory and learning.
Self-Awareness: Closing the eyes and going within allows one to feel the body and begin to notice what has been being ignored.
Amazing Ideas Can Come Fourth: During my Ayurvedic Internship, I had a supervisor who shared that when she did not know what to do with a certain client, she would meditate on it, then the idea would come. I've tried this myself and it works. When in doubt, sit down and meditate. Some of the best ideas have come to me while I've been meditating!
Promotes Peace within the Self: Behind all the mental chatter is the ocean of peace. Break passed the barriers of the self talk. Here's how, imagine the thoughts as clouds passing through the sky, just watch the clouds instead of hopping on a cloud and being part of it. When one simply watches the clouds pass through it allows him or her to stay unattached, swimming in the waters of peace.
If you would like to read more benefits of meditation that have scientific studies to back up the theory check out: http://liveanddare.com/benefits-of-meditation/
Chopra, Deepak. Perfect Health: the Complete Mind Body Guide. Royal National Institute for the Blind, 2006.
“76 Scientific Benefits of Meditation.” Live and Dare, 8 Sept. 2017, liveanddare.com/benefits-of-meditation/.