Meditation and Mindfullness- A Sense of Calm

Meditation has long been a spiritual practice, with roots in all of the world’s major ancient religions. While it is most often associated with Buddhism, the first written records of meditation appeared around 1500 BC in the sacred texts of Hinduism.

Between 600-400 BC, Chinese Taoists and Indian Buddhists developed their own styles of meditation. But meditation is not just an Asian tradition, nor is it solely a spiritual practice. In recent decades, the proliferation of yoga as a popular exercise and wellness activity has helped to introduce millions of Western consumers to secularized meditation techniques, and meditation is an increasingly common offering in gyms, fitness and wellness centers, spas and dedicated studios.

When we meditate consistently on a daily basis for at least eight weeks, the science demonstrates that meditation is an effective intervention capable of altering the physical anatomy of the brain, leading to a long-term reduction in stress, with as little input as10 minutes per day.

MRI scans show that after an eight-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the amygdala, appears to shrink. In essence, meditation helps the amygdala go back to its baseline state. The more we meditate and practice mindfulness, the more mental resilience develops to increase our capacity to manage and change our perception of stress. By altering our mindset, we can lessen the implications on our mental and physical health.

Meditation and mindfulness practices are often employed in programs designed to contribute to better sleep.

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