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The holidays are here. Along with the fun, happy times together with friends and family comes the stress of the season. To make all of our holiday seasons more enjoyable, we’re focusing this month on the health benefits of meditation.

What is meditation?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.”

In fact, meditation has shown actual positive structural and chemical changes in the brain. The infographic below, from synchronicity.org/meditation shows six areas where meditation has a positive effect on our brains.

Infographic authored by Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality. To view the original post, Free Infographic: Effects of Meditation on the Brain.

Benefits of meditation

Meditation has been shown to not only reduce stress but also have a positive benefit for several health conditions. People with anxiety and depression can benefit from meditation, and meditation has shown some potential effects in managing the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Pain
  • Smoking cessation/quitting
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

For more information about the health benefits of meditation, take a look at this video from The Mayo Clinic: