The Importance of Meditation on Your Health
When you have cancer or provide care to someone who does, tending to your mind is as important as tending to your body.
It is no secret that your emotional health can affect your physical health. When battling a disease like cancer, every little bit helps.
This is why it is critical that you consider ways to ease the stress, anxiety, depression, and fear that many cancer patients and caregivers face.
According to the American Cancer Society, practicing meditation for a few minutes is one way to help “calm your body and mind and achieve some peaceful moments.” Doing so can improve your sleep and boost your mood, both of which can benefit your overall health.
What Are Some Specific Benefits of Mediation?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) summarizes some of the proven benefits of mediation on the mind and body. Their information comes from reviewing various scientific studies connecting meditation to health. Some findings include:
- When practiced in conjunction with standard medical treatment, meditation may help lower or stabilize blood pressure
- Meditation may help reduce symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, insomnia, and pain.
- Meditation can help lessen pain, anxiety, depression.
- When used along with standard medical treatment, mediation can help some cancer patients relieve the fatigue, anxiety, depression, and stress associated with a cancer diagnosis and treatments. It can also improve general mood.
How Can You Meditate?
Practicing meditation does not have to be complicated. Today, you can download a free app to “learn” how to meditate independently, or you can easily find guided meditations to do. Some people incorporate physical movements and chanting, while others might focus strictly on breathing. The truth is you can mediate any way that fits into your schedule and lifestyle – it is the results that matter.
According to the NIH, there are four factors that most types of meditation have in common. They are:
- Finding a quiet place free from distractions
- Sitting or lying in a specific posture or moving in a specific, purposeful way
- Focusing attention on something like an object, a word, or your breathing
- Being open-minded to and non-judgmental of your thoughts and actions during your practice
It might take time to get comfortable with your mediation practice but remember that it can improve your health and your life.
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