There have been countless studies that speak to the positive effects of meditation. It lowers your stress levels, improves brain function, can help with digestion and the list goes on. Well there is one more amazing thing we can add to the list of meditation’s super powers. Meditative relaxation can activate disease-fighting mechanisms in the body. That’s right – meditation is right up there with apples when it comes to daily habits which prevent the need for a doctor’s visit.
Researchers at the Harvard Medical School1-6 examined the known benefits of meditative practice from a genetic perspective and discovered that those who practiced meditation over a long period of time had more active disease-fighting genes than the control group. Basically, meditation ‘switched on’ some of the genes that are responsible for keeping you healthy and well. The science can sound overwhelming but but with a tool like ph360 or the revolutionary ShaeTM who will do it all for you, putting these things into practice is a breeze.
Genes can be switched on and off based on our environment, behavior, mood, nutrition or any other external factor. Regular meditation, over a given period of time, can intentionally activate specific genes related to the immune system, lowering inflammation, regulating blood pressure and balancing hormone levels. Plus, the longer you practice, the better the effects of relaxation are on the body.
Now, if you’re thinking that meditation involves vows of silence, chanting, flowing robes and levitating off the ground you might be surprised… If the robes and the chanting are working for you then great! Keep doing what you’re doing. If not here are 3 easy ways to try meditating:
- There’s an app for that – Just like with most other things today, someone has figured out how to know what type of meditation will work best for you. Meditating doesn’t necessarily mean being super still and focusing on a candle. ph360 and the new ShaeTM help guide you in the right direction – whether it’s rhythmical meditation through walking or cycling, using brainwaves to help you focus or finding your inner peace in a crowd of people – there’s a way to do it that suits you!
- Just breathe – meditation doesn’t have to be complicated and intimidating. Concentrating on your breath is a great way to practice mindfulness. Close your eyes and take slow steady breaths, concentrating on the sensation of your lungs expanding and contracting. Keep going for 2 minutes or 2 hours – whatever works for you.
- Get out – Outside, that is. When the weather allows, try to spend some time outdoors, connecting with nature. This could mean lying down on a picnic blanket and listening to the wind in the leaves, hiking the mountains for sunrise or simply watching the peaceful sunset with the people you love.. Whatever works best for you.
One of the theories behind why meditation seems to be so effective is that the stress-hormones adrenalin and cortisol – which ultimately raise the heart rate and blood pressure while weakening immunity – are reduced through relaxation. In contrast, serotonin and alpha brain waves can increase tissue and cellular repair while activating the parasympathetic nervous system (the one that tells us to relax the body, lower stress levels, etc). When the mind completely switches off, the body can release all tension and ultimately improve our mental and physical health and wellbeing in many ways. Including giving us amazing disease-fighting superpowers!
So grab those flowing robes and start levitating! I mean meditating! Your body will thank you.