Imagine if there was a way to feel mentally stronger and improve memory with no side effects or paying even one penny. Well, you don't have to imagine it, because it already exists. Meditation is a practice that involves analyzing your thoughts so you better understand where your feelings come from. There are misconceptions that meditation is only for monks or that it's about shutting off thoughts completely. In simple terms, meditation is about forming a healthy relationship with your thoughts and not succumbing to the idea your thoughts are a reflection of you. Regular practice comes with numerous health benefits that will help in multiple areas of life.
Have you ever been worked up and taken a deep breath to calm yourself down? How well it worked probably depended on how stressed you were. When we're going through intense stress, it can be a challenge to even see straight. Trying to tell ourselves to calm down doesn't work. We need to have tools at our disposal that stop stress from getting to be so great, it feels like we're drowning in it. Meditation reduces stress by giving individuals the opportunity to break down problems and logically respond to them. You might still feel the sensation of stress on your body, but you'll also be able to analyze things from a more objective standpoint.
Although meditation has been in practice for thousands of years, the 'relaxation response' was cultivated in the United States by Harvard doctor Herbert Benson in the 1970s. The 'relaxation response' is a meditation technique used to elicit the opposite bodily response of the 'fight or flight' survival response we often experience with stress. This technique results in a state of deep relaxation in which the breathing, pulse rate, blood pressure, and metabolism of an individual decrease, resulting in lower levels of stress.