Meditation is a technique that is based on physical and mental relaxation and paying attention to the stimuli that surround us. Its practice has many benefits for our psychological well-being and helps maintain the balance of many physiological functions.
What must be clear is that meditation is a practice whose fruits are not harvested overnight. Meditating requires months of practice, perseverance and, although it may not seem physically very demanding, it also requires effort.
Physical effects of meditation
Meditation can help reduce the intensity of discomfort by reflecting and assuming that unpleasant bodily sensations are simply the manifestation of a physiological reaction whose mission is to warn that something harmful has been perceived or detected that disrupts the prevailing psychological balance and, therefore, we must accept them with indulgence because our body “does not know” what is causing us suffering, it only fulfills its mission.
We must become aware that this is the “normal”, the “expected”, it is the inevitable response in the human being due to our biological nature and it will accompany us while the emotional alert is activated.
Meditation: produces changes in the secretion and release of various pituitary hormones that mimic the effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, cortisol levels are significantly reduced, serum protein levels increase, and systolic and diastolic pressures and pulse rate decrease. , as well as the vital respiratory capacity and the maximum voluntary ventilation. It is also associated with increased levels of melatonin and corticotropin-releasing hormone (HLC).
Physical benefits of meditation
- Mitigates the effects of stress
Some research indicates that continued meditation practice helps combat stress and its adverse effects. For example, research involving cancer patients yielded data on improvement not only in terms of stress, but also in terms of symptoms of depression, confusion, and other scales, for both men and women.
- Positive effects on the immune system
It has been verified how a series of volunteers under a Mindfulness program developed more antibodies to the flu, which means that one of the benefits of meditation can have an impact on the immune system.
What happens in our minds when meditating?
Meditation can help us to make a significant change in the assessment of the situation, from harmful to neutral or positive if, when analyzing the situation, it is perceived that errors have occurred in the interpretation of the event: cognitive distortions, emotional biases, prejudices, unfounded fears. , mental restraints, inappropriate cognitive schemes…
In this way, if we manage to eliminate the negative assessment of the disturbing event, the emotional system can be deactivated and, consequently, eliminate the annoying physical sensations or, at least, decrease its intensity, thus restoring emotional balance and stability.
Benefits of meditation for the mind
- Improves memory and other cognitive functions
A few Mindfulness sessions can translate into improved working memory and visuospatial processing.
- Enhances the appearance of positive thoughts
Among the benefits of meditation, there could be one related to positive psychology, one of the currents that most use relaxation practices. A certain type of meditation has helped keep less adaptive beliefs at bay, maintaining habits with important meaning, and generally thinking positively.