Meditation does more than help calm your mind, it can have a profound effect on your body too!

Immune system
Meditation can help ward off illness, and who doesn’t want that… especially during cold and flu season. You may or may not know that your immune system is often called ‘a floating brain.’ This is because the cells in your immune system participate in messages sent by the brain throughout the body. Your mood, thoughts and sensations for instance, are all transmitted to your immune cells. That’s where meditation comes into play – when you meditate you can change and control these messages.

For example, a study by UCLA has shown that patients who are HIV positive that practice meditation slow down the reduction of their immune cells that are associated with keeping the virus from growing.

In general, the findings seem indicate that your body’s response to potential illness improves with meditation.

Heart health
Meditation has been linked to the prevention of heart disease in the way that it regulates your body’s responses to stress. Regular practice will help combat issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and inflammation. Overall, it helps our body build up and regulate its defenses against stress. Because you are more equipped to handle life’s daily stressors, your body is better prepared and able to stay calm, in turn keeping your ticker in tip top shape.

Meditation promotes diaphragmatic breathing. This means breathing deeply so that your diaphragm caves in when you inhale and when your lungs are full of air and you exhale, the diaphragm expands, pushing the air out. Proper breathing with this method can lead to overall improved health and even help:

  • Reduce risk of cancer
  • Reduce risk of high blood pressure
  • Promote better sleep
  • Improve and supply energy

Weight loss
Meditation can be an effective tool to help aid weight loss because it can help reduce stress levels and, in turn, reduce stress hormones. Stress hormones, like cortisol, signal our bodies to store fat and calories. If you’re constantly stressed and have a lot of cortisol in your system, it may prove more difficult to lose weight

In addition to this, a study from Texas Tech University shows that with the practice of meditation, self-control also increases. As a result, with regular meditation you may be able to say no to the extra piece of chocolate or the sweet treat before bed.