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Can Meditation Do Your Body Good?

Though meditation has been around for thousands of years, only recently has it hit trend level. Today, it seems meditation is a new buzzword, and lots of people are jumping on the bandwagon. Celebrities are meditating. Professional athletes are meditating. Even major corporations are encouraging their employees to do so.

But does it really work? Are the benefits to body and mind truly substantial? The short answer is yes.

To show there really is proof in the meditation pudding, here are a few ways the practice does the body good:

Feel less stressed. You’re probably thinking that learning that meditation makes you less stressed isn’t really news. After all, isn’t that one of the reasons so many people are trying it in the first place? Yes. However, a 2013 study out of the University of California, Davis, Center for Mind and Brain found that you don’t just feel less stressed when you meditate. Your body is actually physically less stressed because it lowers its production of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Have a more positive mood. Meditate consistently for long enough and your brain waves will change. As explains, your levels of alpha brain waves increase, which can “help reduce negative moods and feelings including anger, tension, and sadness.”

Get an immune boost. As notes, one study found that people who had meditated for eight weeks prior to receiving a flu shot actually produced more antibodies than people who hadn’t meditated. So, not only can meditation make you feel better, it can also prevent you from getting sick.

Sleep better. If you suffer from insomnia, you’ll be pleased to learn that meditation has been shown to help fight the disorder. And of course, more sleep brings its own set of benefits—improved health, better memory, improved metabolism, and much more.

Improve your cells. Yes, you read that right. Meditation has been shown to contribute to an improvement in long-term cell health. As this article reports, researchers at UC-Davis and the University of California, San Francisco think that the psychological benefits of meditation lead to an increase in the activity of an enzyme that promotes cellular health.

If you’ve been feeling over stressed and run down, meditation is certainly worth a shot. Start small—just 5-10 minutes a day—and begin to reap the benefits almost immediately.

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