Meditation is an ancient practice that originates from India and dates back to 5,000 years ago. In early years meditation was used for accomplishing higher states of consciousness or enlightenment. The practice of meditation is very similar to prayer, a religious practice common for Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Meditation practice begins by turning our attention inwards in order to reach the states of higher consciousness. During and after meditation we may feel positive feelings like bliss, love, kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity, etc.

Meditation is becoming increasingly popular nowadays because of its positive impact on our mind, body, and soul. If you are thinking to start out with meditation, here is a list of top 5 reasons to meditate:

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1. Meditation Improves Our Overall Health

The most important reason to meditate is certainly the impact that meditation has on our overall health. Benefits of the meditation are numerous. They range from regulating blood pressure, hypertension and cholesterol levels to boosting immune system. Since meditation involves deep and slow breathing, more oxygen riches the body. The body uses that oxygen more efficiently.

2. Meditation Reduces Our Stress Level

Another good reason to meditate is that meditation reduces stress level. Modern way of living brings many advantages, but it is also accompanied with a lot of stress. Regular meditations can influence decrease in production of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

 3. Meditation Boosts Our Concentration and Memory

One reason to meditate is certainly the impact that meditation has on our concentration and memory. Scientists have discovered that after only eight weeks of meditation, production of neurotransmitter dopamine increases. Dopamine improves long-term memory and information-processing in the brain areas associated with memory and learning. Some studies also demonstrate that meditation improves our ability to stay focused and concentrate on tasks, even when we are distracted.

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 4. Meditation Decreases Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia

Another very important reason to meditate is because meditation decreases some common problems of modern people, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Meditation alters our brain frequencies, which in turn influence production of many neurotransmitters, like dopamine, serotonin, melatonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Thanks to dopamine and oxytocin we experience pleasure, and feel calm, content, and secure, instead of fear and anxiety. Serotonin, also, has a calming effect, while melatonin regulates our sleep.

5. Mediation Keeps Us Young

One of the best reasons to mediate is to stay young. According to some studies meditation causes increase in production of the anti-aging hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA is the precursor of many hormones, like testosterone and estrogen. It protects us from many diseases and its level is a key determinant of our physiological age. It also enhance our memory and immune system.

Photo Credit: Nickolai KashirinHaPe_Gera and Caleb Roenigk