Overview

Meditation, a type of mind-body medicine, has been practiced for thousands of years. During meditation, you develop intentional focus — minimizing random thoughts about the past or future.

Many forms of meditation exist, but most have in common a quiet setting, a comfortable position, focused attention and an open attitude.

Meditation may offer many benefits, such as helping with concentration, relaxation, inner peace, stress reduction and fatigue.

Research has found that meditation may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. When combined with conventional medicine, meditation may improve physical health. For example, some research suggests meditation can help manage symptoms of conditions such as insomnia, heart disease, pain, cancer and digestive problems.

Meditation 2.0: A new way to meditate

Mayo Clinic Minute: Meditation is good medicine

Mayo Clinic Minute: Benefits of meditation

Stress, anxiety and a lack of sleep are problems that many people deal with every day. But there is one simple practice that can help: meditation.

"Physically, people find they have improved mood, they sleep better and better memory and concentration."

Maria Caselli, a group fitness instructor at Mayo Clinic, says the benefits of just a few minutes of meditation a day can help, especially with stress.

"Meditation, which is the practice of focused concentration, bringing yourself back to the moment over and over again, actually addresses stress, whether positive or negative."

Meditation can also reduce the areas of anxiety, chronic pain, depression, heart disease and high blood pressure.

"The heart rate drops, your respiratory rate drops. There is decreased oxygen consumption, decreased carbon dioxide expired. The body is healing itself and starting repair."

Meditation can help us be less reactive and more responsive to events in our life.

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.

Mayo Clinic's approach

Meditation care at Mayo Clinic

Sept. 18, 2019
References
  1. Meditation: In depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  2. Sharma M, et al. Mindfulness-based stress reduction as a stress management intervention for healthy individuals: A systematic review. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2014;19:271.
  3. Sood A, et al. On mind wandering, attention, brain networks, and meditation. Explore. 2013;9:136.
  4. Complementary, alternative, or integrative health: What's in a name? National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/integrative-health. Accessed Jan. 20, 2017.

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