Science has shown that meditation reduces anxiety and fear and promotes feelings of wellness, satisfaction and joy. It also helps to decrease stress hormones and improve heart health. It can even prevent memory loss and protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to Harvard University researchers.
How to meditate:
To practice meditation, sit comfortably in a chair and focus your attention on your breath. If your mind wanders, simply return your attention to the breath for a few seconds.
Pain: Initially, you may feel pain when beginning longer-duration meditation sessions. This could be a sharp pang in the knees or a dull ache in the back. It’s natural to feel this sensation, but it will pass as you get more experienced.
Meditation can help increase your feelings of compassion toward yourself and others. It can also help you learn to accept yourself and your life in a more positive light, so that you’re not always feeling like an outsider.
Practicing love and kindness:
One study found that people who meditated on loving-kindness and compassion felt happier than those who didn’t. They also showed less prejudice towards black and homeless people.
Long-term meditators have longer chromosome caps called telomeres. This shows that they retain more brain cells, which is thought to be an anti-aging benefit.