Health benefits of meditation and prayer are manyHealth benefits of meditation and prayer are many
By: Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza, McClatchy Newspapers
&bull: Meditation and prayer shift brain activity from the stress-prone right frontal cortex to the calmer left cortex.
• Slowing the breathing rate to 6 breaths per minute synchronizes breathing with cardiovascular rhythms resulting in enhanced cardiac health.
• Physiological benefits of prayer and meditation include anti-aging, deep rest, decreased blood pressure, higher skin resistance, and easier breathing.
• Psychological benefits include increased brain-wave coherence, greater creativity, decreased anxiety and depression, improved learning and memory, and increased happiness and emotional stability.
• The longer an individual practices meditation, the greater the likelihood that there will be a shift toward personal and spiritual growth.
Take action today
1. Find a quiet place to be still.
2. Take deep breaths to help you relax.
3. Meditate or pray.
4. With at clearer mind, journal your thoughts and insights.
5. Make meditation or prayer a part of your daily life.
Looking younger, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, decreased anxiety and depression, improved memory, increased happiness, more peace ...
What’s not to like about meditating or praying?
Pay the mortgage, get the kids to school, pick them up from practice, go to work, pay the utilities, go to the grocery store, make dinner, clean the house, make budgets, pay taxes ... Life can be crazy. Today, people are busier than ever before; hyper-tension and anxiety disorders are at an all time high; and, there is never enough time. Something needs to change.
“It honestly feels like we only have 20 hour days now,” said Christie Day of Athens, Ga. “Did we lose four hours somewhere?”
Christie is not alone. Not only is “I feel like I never have enough time” one of the most common complaints today, but the first thing that often gets cut out is personal quiet time.
“It seems like I spend most of my life doing things for everyone but myself,” Christie shared. “I do it because I love my family and friends, and always want to be there for them, but it has begun to get to me a little bit. I am not as happy as I used to be and feel like I am losing touch with myself.”
Spending time with friends, paying the bills, and taking care of the family are obviously important, but, like Christie, if people don’t take a few moments to be alone and get quiet, life can become overwhelming. Praying and meditating are two of the most common and effective ways to silence all of the noise in life. They give people a chance to reflect on their day, honor a higher power, or just be alone to slow down.
“A friend of mine recommended that I started to spend 10 minutes every morning and night by myself,” shared Christie. “At first it felt a bit strange, and I wasn’t even sure what do to during those 10 minutes. But she told me that meditation and prayer are personal things and reassured me that I would find my way with them.”
There are many different ways to meditate and prayer, but, most importantly, people need to figure out which is best suited from them. Regardless, there is no wrong way to do it ... the key is creating the time.
“I’ve kind of created my own meditation program,” said Christie. “In the morning, I pray for protection for my family and just try to speak into action what I hope the day brings. Then my evening meditation is based on gratitude. Every night I write down five things for which I am grateful.”
Habits take three weeks to form. So start this week by getting quiet and begin to enjoy all of the benefits of meditation and prayer.