No matter how old you are and what healthy habits you have, meditation and yoga are great additions to a healthier and longer life. Both are ancient practices that can provide health benefits in many ways. Tai Chi, among other healing arts, can help in slowing down the aging process. Thus, both meditation and yoga are simple techniques that should be practiced on a daily basis in order to attain a youthful and healthy lifestyle.
People have been meditating for thousands of years. But while the practice is not new, science is just catching up to its benefits. Recent studies show meditation and mindfulness can have a positive impact on stress, anxiety, focus, creativity and even relationships. The calming benefits of meditation are helpful in keeping the mind from wandering while also reducing stress. Here are some amazing benefits of meditation:
1. Lowers stress and anxiety
The discipline of meditating can lead to an increase of positive thoughts in the brain and lower susceptibility to stress. Meditation is not only associated with feeling less stressed, but it’s also linked with decreased levels of stress hormone cortisol.
2. Changes the brain
A meditation technique can actually result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region.
3. Lowers depression
Those who are at especially high risk for depression may benefit from some mindfulness meditation. Teaching people of all ages how to practice mindfulness on a daily basis could help them experience less stress, anxiety and depression.
4. Supports your weight-loss goals
Trying to shed a few pounds to get to a healthier weight? Mindfulness could be your best friend. Meditation training was considered an “excellent” or “good” strategy for weight loss by seven out of 10 psychologists in one related survey.
5. Helps you sleep better
Meditation can not only help us better control our emotions and moods, but it can also help us sleep better at night. People who reported higher levels of mindfulness described better control over their emotions and behaviors during the day. In addition, higher mindfulness was associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress.
Yoga, on the other hand, is said to be more physical than spiritual. The practice can involve breathing meditation and some consider it to be a spiritual discipline as well. Despite living in times when scientific medicine was not as developed as today, many yogis have lived past 100 years of age. Yogis have been incredibly healthy individuals who were in better shape at age 80 than many people at age 40, which only proves beneficial effects of yoga. The regular exercise that yoga practice provides helps maintain muscle strength as well as bone density, flexibility of the joints and balance. Yoga exercises can also improve respiratory and circulatory health while reducing stress and anxiety. Spending an hour a day on yoga is sure to promote a healthier life.
Meditation and yoga are simple practices that should be essential part of your daily routine. The best times to meditate are first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed at night. Prepare to start the day with calm self and clear thoughts. At night, relax and anticipate a good night’s rest. Incorporate these highly beneficial techniques and you’ll see the results in no time.