Benefits for Mind and Body

Meditation is a mind-and-body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.  Mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body and behavior.

There are many types of meditation, but most have four elements in common: a quiet location with as few distractions as possible; a specific, comfortable posture (sitting, lying down, walking or other positions); a focus of attention (a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or the sensations of the breath); and an open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them).

Some research suggests that practicing meditation may help reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.  Meditation is generally considered to be safe for healthy people.

Sources: National Institutes of Health; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine