top of page

How meditation can be life changing for your overall health

How meditation can be life changing for your overall health? First and foremost the number one answer to that is that it relieves stress and stress is the main cause of many life imbalances including many diseases.

There are more and more neuroscience studies coming out proving the tremendous health benefits of meditation, and its positive effects on the immune system, sleep, depression, anxiety, longevity, brain elasticity, sexual performance, physical performance and so much more!

But let's start from the basics: what IS meditation? If you are like me 12 or so years ago, you might think that meditation is something that buddhist monks practice in Tibet :))) I have come a long way since then by falling in love with and practicing meditation and yoga and I have experienced first hand the beneficial and life changing effects meditation has had on my overall well being!

The English word “meditation” stems from meditatio, a Latin term meaning “to contemplate.” Although we can’t know when, exactly, people began to meditate, experts agree that the practice probably began many thousands of years ago, before the birth of modern civilization.

It can be difficult to pin down its origins because there are so many practices that fall under the “meditation” umbrella. Is it mindfulness? Contemplation? Communion? Chanting? Trance? Or just a simple time spent alone in silence and stillness to help the nervous system calm down? What is certain is that meditation is an ancient practice that helps people go beyond their personalities and deeper within themselves so that they can experience a more profound and connected sense of their true Self and their realities.

How does meditation work? Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.

Let me give you enough reasons to keep you hooked on wanting to meditate and talk to you about what happens at chemical level when you step into that place of meditation, and how is it actually helps reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, improve sleep, depression, sexual and physical performance, brain elasticity and so much more!

But why do we need meditation in the first place? Relieving stress is one of the main reasons. Unfortunately many of us in the modern world, live under almost constant stress, and the effects of stress on the body and mind are exponential. When we are under a lot of stress ( physical, emotional, financial) our whole system gets affected and our body and mind reacts by being more tense and we go into something called "fight or flight mode".

To better understand this , I will take you back to the hunter gatherer time, when the chances to be chased by a predator were extremely high. When that happened, the body went into fight or flight mode to protect the human from the danger. What this meant is that the digestive system shut down, because that is the one that uses a lot of energy and started to produce more acid. The hunter gatherer needed all of his energy in order to be able to fight or flee that predator. The bowel and bladder evacuate so that the body is lighter and can run easier. The acid produced by the digestive system will seep into the skin so that in case the predator catches the human, the body will have a bitter taste to the bite. The blood starts to thicken and coagulate so that if the bite occurs, the human does not bleed to death. The immune system shuts down, because in this case it does not care to protect the body against any disease, and the adrenalin levels and cortisol levels increase ( which are stress chemicals and are also acidic by nature). The body is absolutely amazing in knowing how to react to save the life of the human.

While all of these instinctual responses were very useful back then, they are not useful in any modern day situation, but the fact is that our body responds the same way to the stress today as it did back in our hunting gatherer times. The body does not know the difference between the stress caused by being chased by a tiger or the stress caused by a work situation, financial or career situation, relationship problems , health issues or any modern day challenges we may face. The chemical reactions in the body are the same and all these stress related chemical responses cause inflammation which in turn lead to disease in the body. And although the response may not be as strong all at once as it was back then, living in a continuous stressful state will build up over time. It's called being maladaptive and in time it can go as far as cause autoimmune disease and also brain atrophy.

This is when meditation comes in being extremely helpful and it has been scientifically proven over and over again that it is a stress relieving tool, so the more you meditate, the less stressful your body will become and the more highly you will be able to perform both mentally and physically.

Meditation is 5X deeper that a sleep cycle, so by mastering the discipline of practicing meditation, you give yourself the gift of rest, health, kindness, and overall well being.

Therefore, when you think that you do not have time to meditate, think of what stress is doing to your health, what stress is costing you, even financially ( an average American spends around $11,000 a year dealing with stress and fatigue, that includes coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, sleep medication, anti-anxiety pills, anti-depressants and therapy) and hopefully that will give you enough reasons to start a daily meditation practice. This is not an article to scare you, this is an article to EMPOWER you! Meditation does not have to be long or perfect, or done in one particular way, or the way your friend/neighbor/mentor etc does it. You can tailor it to your own needs, your time and your style.

To go back to what meditation does at a chemical level, it de-excites your nervous system, it decreases your metabolic rate and your body temperature. And when the body is in this state, it knows how to heal itself, because the human body is jus absolutely amazing ( I would go as far as saying that it is magical) if you give it the right tools.

It's very important to clarify one thing: meditation is NOT about clearing our minds of thoughts, that is impossible! And this is the mistake many people make and also the number one reason they give up meditation after the first try. People have this misconception that when they meditate, their minds have to be quiet, no thought can arise, that they are doing something wrong if they start wondering or falling asleep. I am here to tell you that it is IMPOSSIBLE to shut off your thoughts, so stop giving yourself a hard time or an excuse to meditate. It is all normal and it is part of being a human.

We often confuse the journey with the outcome. Because mediation is something so serene and calm, people automatically assume that you have to be in that state in order to meditate. When you mediate regularly, eventually you will be able to get there, but what I suggest keeping in mind is to not focus on the end goal, instead enjoy the ride and the enormous benefits that this practice can bring. I guarantee you that after you make a habit of it, you will be so hooked by the benefits that it will be part of your life, just like taking a shower.

Here are some of my favorite meditation recommendations that helped me start on this journey and I hope from the bottom of my heart that they will help you too:

No matter what you choose, whether they are my recommendations, your findings or some program that you joined, as long as you practice meditation, I can guarantee you that you will feel the ripple effects of your choice and your body will thank you. Be ready to be healthier, kinder, happier and calmer.

17 views0 comments


bottom of page