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Benefits of Meditation

Posted 1/16/2014

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  We have all heard about the possible benefits of meditation, and many of us have tried it. Some of us, myself included, are hooked. As you may know, I took a meditation course almost exactly two years ago, and it has been a truly remarkable addition to my life. The instructions then were to meditate twice daily for twenty minutes: I have failed at that. I console myself that meditation is supposed to enhance one's sense of peacefulness and well-being so stressing out about not always keeping to the schedule can't be a good thing. I do always get in at least one session per day, and there are times I can do two.

  The first time I noted a real benefit was on a business trip a month or so after starting the practice. We were lined up at the gate to board when a delay was announced. Rather than becoming frustrated and irritated, I shrugged and sat back down with my book. No problem--as indeed it wasn't in the medium or long run. Meditation has helped me through many similarly potentially stressful moments in the past two years, has enabled me to feel much better on not enough sleep some days, and has really reduced jet lag during big trips. Pretty good for something that requires no props, medication, or expense.

  Here is a nice summary from Medscape. Since this really boils down to breathing in and breathing out, thinking about your breath, and letting go, I recommend its' ease to you all.

  Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Depression, Anxiety, Pain

Meditation may provide small to moderate improvement in negative aspects of psychological stress, including anxiety, depression, and even pain in some individuals, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
"I think people should be aware that the average person going through a mindfulness-based meditation program can expect small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress, as well as of chronic pain,"
lead author Madhav Goyal, MD, MPH, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, told Medscape Medical News.
Many people meditate to reduce psychological stress and stress-related health problems, Dr. Goyal said. "However, it is not known whether meditation has health benefits beyond the placebo effect. Just as people can get placebo effects from taking a placebo pill, people can also get placebo effects from a program that changes their behavior. We didn't know if meditation has effects that go beyond the placebo effect, and this systematic review was done to answer that question," he said.

Read more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/818931_print


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