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Meditation has become mainstream, but some are confused about what it actually is.  To put it simply, meditation is the practice of turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present.  Meditating may involve focusing on your breathing, body movements, and sensations or a phrase or mantra.  Taking the time to meditate has proven to be very beneficial on many levels.  Check out some of the health benefits of meditating below. 

Boosts Immune System: Generally, the older we get, the more prone to infection we are.  This is because immune response becomes naturally impaired as we age.  But, this process can be drastically slowed down if the body is properly cared for.  Research has shown that even in just an eight week period, meditating helped older people develop an increased ability to fight off viral infections.

Promotes Heart Health: Stress contributes greatly to many diseases, including cardiovascular disease.  According to research funded by the National Institute of Health, meditation can reduce hypertension by helping alleviate stress levels.  According to the same study, meditating can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by 48%.  Moreover, meditating helps improve overall cardiovascular function.

Helps Manage Pain: Meditation helps manage pain by teaching our brains to think of pain differently than how we normally perceive it.  We naturally perceive pain as a danger, which is why we tend to pay a lot of attention to pain.  Over time, it is possible to process pain in different areas of our brain.  Meditation has been linked to improved quality of life in patients with chronic pain.

Sharpens Memory
: Forgetfulness and confusion are two conditions generally associated with aging.  Meditating helps slow down the progression of memory-related diseases, since it increases blood flow to the brain.  Practicing the art of meditation thickens the area of the brain that is responsible for memory.  Meditation also helps increase focus and concentration.

Weight-Loss Treatment: For those in weight-loss treatment, meditation is an excellent way to take time out of the day and focus on progress and goals.

Bonus Benefits
: Pros associated with meditation include stress management, increased happiness, and self-awareness.  Meditation is also thought to slow the aging process and helps combat insomnia.

Getting Started: Meditating is easy to do.  All you need is a little time, a quiet space, and focus.  Meditating for any amount of time is better than none.  But, if you begin small by meditating for just 5 minutes a day, most will see results within a few weeks.  You will see the most benefits when meditating becomes a part of your daily routine.

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