Benefits of mindfulness
As we meditate the body responds by shifting to a state of relaxation that is much deeper than deep sleep and is nourishing for the whole body. The following changes have been observed in people who are meditating:
- blood pressure decreases
- heart rate decreases slightly
- muscle tension decreases
- stress hormones decreases
Meditation stimulates the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus leading to a release of endorphins – the bodies natural feel good chemical.
Meditation also increases production of serotonin, dopamine and melatonin, all related to positive moods, happiness and relaxation.
As you meditate Theta and Alpha brain waves increase which induces relaxation throughout the body and mind. This has been found to be induced most effectively by non directive meditation techniques such as the body scan and mindful breathing. With mindfulness you are not trying to achieve an objective but are simply noting what is there and then gently returning your attention to the breath and as such it is very effective at inducing these brain wave patterns.