All religions have it. Health gurus rave about it. So why are we so reluctant to try it?

For most of my life, I didn’t meditate. About 3 years ago, I flirted with meditation. Sometimes I did it once a week, then I’d forget about it to focus on more important things. I claimed I didn’t have time. Weeks would go by without giving it a second thought. But in 2014, I started meditating in a big way. I progressed slowly, beginning with five minutes a day of stillness. In seven months (as of just this week), I increased my practice to one hour a day. Yeah, one whole hour devoted to meditation (I do several small meditations in this hour).

If you’re not convinced about the benefits of meditation, hopefully this may convince you. After a five-year study from Harvard University, John Denninger concluded: “The kinds of things that happen when you meditate do have effects throughout the body, not just in the brain.”

Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn from University of California, Los Angeles found that just 12 minutes of meditation a day for eight weeks increased telomerase activity by 43% (the telomerase enzyme slows the cellular aging process).

The following is directly from the Mayo Clinic’s website.

Meditation and emotional well-being

When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.

The emotional benefits of meditation can include:

Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
Building skills to manage your stress
Increasing self-awareness
Focusing on the present
Reducing negative emotions
Meditation and illness

Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.

While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it’s not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation.

With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

Anxiety disorders
Asthma
Cancer
Depression
Heart disease
High blood pressure
Pain
Sleep problems

So what are you waiting for?

About Joshua G. Silverman

As a child, Joshua has always been an amateur historian, focusing on ancient Egypt, Greece, and Roman civilizations.