How Meditation helps your mind and your body

Harold Mandel's picture

There has been a growing interest in meditation to help people relax due to increasing concerns about the potential for very dangerous side effects from drugs which are prescribed for relaxation. Along with subjective feelings of lessened tension, anxiety and depression people who meditate really do appear to be more emotionally well balanced. Research shows that the benefits of meditation do not end with the mind. Meditation may also help with serious medical conditions such as diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Mindfulness meditation successfully targets negative chronic cognitions

Mindfulness-based meditation has been found to successfully target negative chronic cognitions such as worry and thought suppression reports the journal Behavioral Medicine. However, the acceptability and effectiveness of meditation in people with long-term conditions has been uncertain. Researchers therefore tested a six-week course of meditation and mindfulness intervention in people suffering from diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease.

It was observed that meditation and mindfulness skills led to great benefits for psychological health,

1: Improved sleep

2: Greater relaxation


3: More-accepting approaches to illness and illness experience

4: Reduction of worry and thought suppression

Mindfulness meditation is helpful for healing more than just minds

It has been observed that mindfulness meditation is helpful for healing more than just minds reports Taylor and Francis. This was observed by researchers who have examined how meditation and mindfulness affect people suffering from diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease. In this study mindfulness is defined as a “heightened sense of present centered self-awareness that fosters non-judgmental observations of emotions, bodily states, and other sensations in the attentional field, leading to mental well being.” While measuring changes in worry and thought suppression, the researchers also explored acceptability, feasibility, and user experience of mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness meditation helps people nurture a renewed sense of balance and self-determination

Lead research author Dr. Peter Coventry has said mindfulness based interventions are apparently an acceptable and effective manner for some people suffering from long term conditions to nurture a renewed sense of balance and self-determination in their lives. This approach helps people accept their limitations while focusing on what is achievable in the present instead of worrying about the past or what they might have problems doing in the future. The bottom line is mindfulness meditation helps people to self-manage their illness while having the potential to offer people long term benefits if it is practiced regularly and built into their everyday routines.

It is significant that research now shows the benefits of mindfulness meditation for both the mind and psychological health in coping with medical conditions. The side effects from drugs prescribed by psychiatrists to help with these conditions have been alarming. The response by psychiatrists to harsh critics of the over-prescribing of these drugs often consists of dangerously arrogant comments such as, "What else can we do?" and "I suppose you have something better to offer." Mindfulness meditation is proving to be one good alternative to drugs for these conditions. It's also advisable to try to eat well, exercise regularly, sleep well, and avoid alcohol and illicit drugs to help cope with these conditions without the use of psychiatric drugs which generally just make things a lot worse.