In Oprah Magazine, January 2010, there is a dramatic illustration from the new book The Visual Miscellaneum, by David McCandless. It illustrates clearly, based on research gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics, Public Library of Science, National Institutes of Health, and the American Heart Association, that meditation (daily relaxation exercises) can increase BOTH men and women’s lifespan by upwards of 12 years. Other things such as drinking a glass of red wine will increase a man’s lifespan by upwards of 4 years (not the same for women) and staying trim will increase a lifespan by about 6 years for both men and women. But nothing adds the years onto your life like meditation.
If you aren’t meditating, it is time to start. Meditation is not prayer. It is not sleep. It is not a power nap. Meditation is the active process of releasing thoughts. If you have never meditated before you probably have very little understanding as to how many thoughts your mind is consumed with at any moment, and how those thoughts are impacting your actions, your life and therefore your health. The act of meditating not only shifts the mind but what the statistics show is that it also shifts the body. The research indicates that meditation may cut the risk of death from heart attach by 30 percent and cancer by 49 percent. This is dramatic. No other tool, food, vitamin, activity provides such results.
The strong correlation between meditation and increased lifespan, indicates just how powerful our minds are. Often times when we hear of how people healed themselves from unfathomable conditions or events, it is because they used their mind to overcome the challenges. Cultivating a process of mediation allows you to connect into the power of the mind. Meditating impresses the notion that the mind can be controlled and therefore used for improving one’s life.
Incorporating this daily practice requires no special equipment and doesn’t cost anything to do. 20 minutes twice a day is all you need to gain more then a decades worth of life. This is less time then watching an hour of your favorite TV show a day.
When people start mediating they often are confused by what they are doing. It is like they are waiting for some big message from on high. But it is much, MUCH more simple. You are consciously choosing to sit with yourself for a specified length of time, typically somewhere in the range of 20 minutes. Now there are various techniques of mediating and finding a process that works for you might take a little research. For example, you can meditate with a mantra, by focusing on your breath, or simply observing and releasing thoughts.
As my meditation has become an increasing daily practice, I have noticed the following (the list could go on and on, but here are some significant changes I have noticed):
- I am happier.
- I live in the moment more, rather than in the past or future.
- I am a thousand times more productive.
- I have better blood sugars, have lost weight. I look and feel better.
- I make better choices.
- I am more self-accepting.
In the world we live in today, with stress looming just around the next corner, it is imperative that meditation become a daily practice. Check out B1 Community’s virtual classes to learn meditation http://www.b1community.com/Self-CareSolutionsClassesforIndividuals.php. Start living longer today.