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Does Meditation Improve Your Health?

By: Mike Watson - Updated: 24 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Meditation Health Illness Mindfulness

Meditation is widely agreed to have a positive effect on one’s health by western medical practitioners, psychologists, mainstream religious groups and spiritualists. However, many of the positive effects that meditation produces are not quantifiable, and there are so many variables to consider when taking health into account that it is enough to say, quite simply, that whoever you are and whatever your state of health, if you are not currently practising meditation, beginning to do so will improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

Adopting 'Mindfulness'

Meditation has such a positive effect as a result, primarily, of the attitude that it fosters in the individual. As the body and mind are linked, developing a positive mental outlook will reduce stress and thus improve one’s resistance to illness and dampen the effects of illness itself. Additionally, the adoption of what is called ‘mindfulness’ (an awareness of the moment) can significantly improve one’s quality of life, extending from their ability to fully appreciate - and become absorbed in - situations as they arise. It is the main intention of meditation, through any of the forms outlined on this website, to foster such a mindfulness.

It must be noted that ‘mindfulness’ is something which meditation can help one to develop. However, mindfulness is also something that can be carried with one throughout their life, and can have a great positive effect on their career, social life and personal relationships. Mindfulness can not only be achieved through meditation and it is the case that meditation is something that can be experienced at any point in the day, rather than mindfulness being something that only be achieved in certain positions and by repeating specific mantra’s. In this sense, meditation operates on one’s health in much the same way that regular exercise, the companionship of friends, time to oneself, an occasional brisk walk etc. improves ones wellbeing. To rigidly try and force oneself into meditation rituals will defeat the very purpose of meditation!

In any case, the practice of meditation daily, and the fostering of mindfulness throughout the day will help to alleviate or even eradicate the following types of illness:

  • Stress, depression, anxiety
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Unhealthy and aggressive relationships
  • Pre Menstrual Syndrome
  • Sloth
  • Tendency to develop cold and flu
  • Addiction and dependency
  • Gluttony
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Acute Pain
  • Cancer

It is felt that meditation can have a negative effect on persons who have developed psychosis, although this is debatable and depends whether you take a western psychological viewpoint, or an eastern spiritual point of view. If in doubt about whether meditation would be advisable for you, it is best to seek the advice of someone who is both well informed and trustworthy. On the whole, however, meditation is a cheap, easy and simple way of coming to a better understanding of yourself, whilst maximising your physical and mental wellbeing and potential.

The answer to the question, ‘Does meditation improve your health?’ is a resounding ‘Yes’. Mindfulness is intrinsic to leading a quality lifestyle; how you choose to attain mindfulness is a matter for personal choice.

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