Benefits of meditation
A study by Harvard University researchers found that grey matter in the hippocampus increased in size in participants who undertook an 8-week meditation program. The hippocampus is the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Grey matter also increased in the parts of the brain responsible for feelings of compassion and self-awareness. Conversely, grey matter in the amygdala, which generates feelings of anxiety and stress, was reduced in size.
How long should I meditate to reduce stress?
Despite the benefits, many people simply don’t address the stress in their lives.
Meditation doesn’t have to be a big commitment. All it requires is a quiet, comfortable area where you can sit or lie down. Breathing exercises can be as simple as breathing in two breaths while saying “Let” and exhaling on “Go.” A psychologist suggests starting small, aiming for two minutes a day for 30 days: “Start meditating consistently – work your way up from that.”
She says most of her clients aim for 10-20 minutes a day, up to two times a day. The perks are less anxiety and better sleep quality. Many also say they are able to handle stressful situations more effectively when they arise, and are calmer in the face of everyday stressors. “You can get a significant benefit from that,” says Fenn. Henick agrees. He also meditates, using an app that talks him through the process. “Meditation teaches you to remain in the present – but in a realistic way,” he says, meaning that by focusing on the present, a person can keep worries about the future in check.
Anna Sharratt, March 24, 2017, Meditation: Giving stress a time-out [Web page] . Retrieved from Canada Sun Life Corporate Website read the article
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