Modern lives demand multitasking that can have us feeling fragile and close to breaking point. Meditation has long been known to help center the mind and reduce stress, bringing a welcome calm into life. A recent study even tells us how meditation can help seniors feel less lonely.
How meditation can help reduce loneliness
Being alone and being lonely are known to be risk factors for developing disease and even death. A study conducted by J. David Creswell at Carnegie Mellon University found that this loneliness can be dispelled to a large extent with the help of meditation.
Meditation was seen to work where networking programs to encourage interpersonal relationships involving community centers had not worked. The study found that meditation helps to lower inflammation levels in the body. Lowered inflammation in turn helps to arrest the progress of several diseases.
According to Creswell, loneliness can be very bad for health but rarely do we think of it in those terms. For this reason he recommends mindfulness meditation to help lonely seniors avoid diseases. According to Creswell this study is the first indication that immune cell gene expression can get help from interventions such as meditation. This seems to offer a lot of promise for controlling inflammatory disease.
Creswell recommends learning proper techniques of meditation by finding a practitioner / instructor near where one lives, so that the mind can be trained appropriately and to get the most benefits.
Other reasons to meditate
Other than lowering stress and helping us calm down, meditation has many other benefits.
For one it helps improve concentration and improves clarity of thinking when the mind is trained to be more in control. Many people find that as a result they are able to function better – they have better energy levels and become more productive. It is also possible to become better at problem solving as a result.
If you want to kick a bad habit, meditation can help. Simply because you are able to control your mind better, your will power gets a much needed boost so that you can control your actions and behavior.
Studies have shown that less than half an hour a day of meditation using the proper techniques can help bring about many improvements. It is best to practice meditation early in the morning when distractions are fewest and to pick a place that is calm and serene. This gives your whole day a boost.