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Can Meditation Improve Your Health, Help You Live Longer?

Updated on August 21, 2017
Cyndi10 profile image

Cynthia - a freelance writer believing in the power of words. She writes about travel, family, business, gardening, and health & wellness..

Can Learning to Meditate Have Therapeutic Benefits and Help You Live Longer?

Learning to meditate may help you live longer and it may be easier than you think. Have you ever contemplated the beauty and intricacies of a flower? Not asking anything of the flower, you simply appreciated the way the petals folded in on one another or the brilliance of the colors, the heady aroma you slowly inhaled.

Maybe you were lucky enough to catch sight of a beautiful butterfly delicately lighting on a single petal, only to see it flit away in a breath. And childhood may have been the last time you lay on your back and were lost in the majesty, the vastness, the purity of a clear blue sky, thinking of nothing, demanding nothing, just being. In both those actions you stood at the door of meditation.

Believe it or not, it doesn't take much to walk through that door and learn to meditate. Once you learn to meditate, you will find that meditation eases you into intentional clearing of the mind. Over time, people who regularly place themselves in a meditative state have been shown to have a slower heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and lowered blood sugar levels. With meditation a sense of calmness and well being can be achieved that will transcend the moment of meditation and will, in fact, remain with you throughout the day. Learning to meditate may actually help you live longer.

Done properly, meditation becomes a shield, the armor you wear against the everyday stressors of life we all face: demands of our careers, our families, our social lives. After all, how really important is it that we have to wait a little longer than anticipated at a traffic light or that the line in the grocery store is barely moving? We know we will reach our destination. Isn't it better to "arrive" with our mental state intact?

There are many types of meditation and many wonderful ways to meditate. Some methods use sound, some have you concentrate on an object, other methods involve chanting. Some types of meditation include moon meditation, meditative walking and zen meditation. These are just a few methods. Ultimately, the technique you use is your choice when you learn to meditate. What is important is that you find a technique that makes you comfortable, one you can follow consistently. But be warned, results will not happen overnight. As with anything else, reaping the rewards of meditation will take time, but the rewards are there and well worth the effort because successful meditation can positively impact both your mental and physical health.

Meditation can provide the break that allows the right brain to take over for a change. In other words, with therapeutic meditation we are better able to access our intuition, our perceptiveness, our imagination. It is a well deserved mental vacation from the constant left brain "active chatter" that most of us experience throughout the day.

Meditation helps us view life's challenges in perspective and with an awareness that all things and events are transitory, that this life we have is a gift and that we should appreciate each unique moment we are given.

The beauty of a flower can inspire you to learn  meditation.
The beauty of a flower can inspire you to learn meditation. | Source

Peaceful Sounds for Meditation

Contemplate the beauty of a flower.
Contemplate the beauty of a flower. | Source

Meditation Can Be for Anyone

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Even a picture of a sunrise on the beach can be your focal point as you meditate.
Even a picture of a sunrise on the beach can be your focal point as you meditate. | Source

You Can Learn Methods of Meditation: Getting Started

So what is meditation? And what is it that you do? Can you learn to meditate? Can learning to meditate help you live longer?

In truth, you do nothing except regularly find the time and the place to meditate. It is in these moments that you choose to do nothing, emptying your mind as best you can. Within that "nothing" grows awareness of the present as you may not have been aware of it before. Although it sounds very mystical, it is really very easy.

To get started and begin to reap the benefits of meditation, select a quiet place. The place can be a room or corner in your home, it can be in the park, it can even be at your work. The key is to gain a few uninterrupted moments. Starting with as few as five minutes of stillness and slowly increasing that time will be of benefit.

Perhaps the easiest method of meditation to learn, one that can be done anywhere, is to concentrate on the breath, by performing slow, deep breathing. Start out concentrating on this rhythmic slow inhale and slow exhale form of breathing counting every five breathes. It may help to use the mantra of the Vietnamese spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh in his book Peace Is Every Step. He writes" Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out I smile." Gradually build up to longer periods of time as your ability to hold random thoughts at bay increases. Later, other methods of meditation will come easier. Eventually, you may be able to mix different methods.

Next, find a position that is comfortable for you to be able to meditate in. This can depend on where you decide to meditate. One of the most common ways is to sit with legs crossed, arms lightly resting in your lap. You can also meditate while sitting in a chair, feet on the floor. Meditation lying prone may also be chosen. Again, it is what makes you comfortable and relaxed that will determine the posture you assume. One of the ways to meditate gaining in popularity is walking meditation. The principles of mindfulness are the same except that you are in motion.

Meditation, Health and Living Longer

As for the benefits of learning to meditate on health and living longer, researchers have concluded that there are measurable improvements in the brain after a minimum of two weeks of meditation, thirty minutes at a time. Among the many benefits of meditation on health, regular meditation sessions have been demonstrated to decrease blood pressure. It has been shown to impact bad habits like smoking and drug addition. Meditation has also aided in improving the symptoms of depression and anxiety in many.

Eventually, the joy of releasing the clutter from your mind will have lasting affects on your body that, along with other healthy habits, may well increase your life span. After all, meditation may have reduced some of those serious medical issues that can shorten or negatively impact the quality of your life.

Just Be

Once you learn to meditate, everyone reacts differently to meditation. What has been discussed here are the possible benefits, including possibly living longer. At the very least that can be accomplished is that you have made time to honor yourself by making time for yourself. Be patient as you learn to meditate. Meditation will, in turn, teach you to be patient in challenging situations and patient with others.

Follow the path, open the door, learn to meditate and, for at least a little while, just be.

Disclaimer: In no way does any of the information in this article replace the advice or medicines prescribed by a medical doctor.

© 2011 Cynthia B Turner


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    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 2 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Paul, Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. It's interesting that you mentioned the girls meditating at school. I just saw a program about the country of Bhutan which, according to the reporting, mandates daily meditation for all students. I think that is a good idea. I experienced something similar in elementary school. It wasn't called meditating, but my teachers would have a designated "quiet time" for us. There was no talking and the lights were out. It takes discipline to quiet a racing mind, especially if you are a child. I have a difficult time stopping the mind chatter in order to meditate and I imagine other writers have the same difficulty.

      I appreciate the sharing. Take care.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Although I have never meditated, all of the students in the Catholic all-girls school in Bangkok where I used to teach had to meditate for a period of five minutes twice or three times a week in the morning or afternoon before classes. There is value in meditation and this is something which I will start doing every day. This is a very good hub which I am sharing with Hubpage followers and Facebook followers.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 2 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Mel, yes that is an unfortunate view of meditation, especially since it has so many curative aspects. Thank you for your observations and for leaving your positive comment.

      Take care.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      In evangelical Christian societies such as here in the US meditation is often looked upon as pagan, some saying it can open the soul to demonic possession. I think this view is ridiculous and unfortunate. As a Catholic I have prayed the rosary, which is nothing more than chanting, and I find this puts me in a meditative state. Great hub.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 2 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for reading, leaving a comment and sharing. Research continues to show how powerful and beneficial meditation is. I think many people think it takes lots of effort and time when it really doesn't especially when you consider the overall benefits. You are so right, we just often fail to take the time for US. Take care.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      So well said. For me meditation takes me to another place....away from the stressors and I find myself awash in the feeling of peace.

      Thank you for sharing.

      In this world today we often fail to take time for US.

      This is a great answer.

      Voted up++++ Shared g+ tweeted

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 3 years ago from Georgia

      Meditation is the mental break we all need. Writers may need it more than others, since turning off and tuning out can be such an issue. Thanks for leaving a comment and the vote up.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 3 years ago from Georgia

      Meditation is a real stress-reliever for me. I especially enjoy doing it to music. Great tips you provide here! Voted up.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 3 years ago from Georgia

      I hope this helped with your meditation. Thank you for taking a moment to leave a comment!

    • Ryem profile image

      Ryem 3 years ago from Maryland

      This is a really great article. I started meditating a few months ago and I've noticed changes in my energy, it's very refreshing.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you so much for reading and leaving a positive comment.

    • LKMore01 profile image

      LKMore01 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Cyndi10. Your description of meditation is beautiful and deeply profound, "it is a gift we give to ourselves."

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hello MG, Thank you for finding my article to be authentic. I appreciate you taking the time to leave that comment.

      Have a creative evening!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Denise, More people need to make meditation a part of their lives. It can make such a difference. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and sharing my work.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Gail, I appreciate the positive comments. So often we might put meditation last because we think we don't have the time. In fact, we should reframe and make it a priority in our daily routine .

      Thank you so much for your votes and sharing and for the hug.

      Take care and have a creative day!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Paradise, I'm glad I reminded you to take a break and meditate. Since you are a writer, it may be especially important for you because I'm sure your mind goes nonstop. Thank you for leaving a comment.

      Take care.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      What you say is true. It is the cornerstone of Hinduism

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Meditation is an important part of my spiritual practice. Well written and interesting. Voted UP/U/I and shared. :)

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      I'm a great believer in the benefits of meditation and do meditate on a daily basis. I particularly like meditative walking.

      Loved this hub and also the beautiful photos and music that you included.

      Voted up across the board except for funny and shared.



    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      I don't meditate and I really should. Thank you for the reminder. The "Moonlight" is lovely, too, thank you for that, too.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Audrey, It helps to have a tranquil setting to meditate. It brings you closer to everything around you and inspires a sense of awe at the beauty that has been created. Meditation does seem to be inevitable when you are in such places. Where you live sounds wonderful!

      Thanks for leaving the positive comment. Take care.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I meditate often. Living in the forest, it's almost impossible not to meditate. I sit on the deck in a comfortable chair, breathe deeply and as I gaze at the tall trees surrounding me, it's not long before I am transformed into a peaceful kind of bliss.

      Your hub explains meditation well. Thanks Cyndi ~ Hugs, Audrey

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for leaving a comment. You certainly have a beautiful setting in Orlando for your walks. Take care.

    • jcressler profile image

      James E Cressler 4 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Loved your insightful well done article...thumbs up and useful mark. Myself, I do meditative walking as part of a "runners high."

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Good. Stepping back and taking that time just for you is important. Thanks for reading!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Cyndi, for sharing this. I am now motivated to devote 30 mins a day to meditating! Thanks for giving me the extra push!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      I couldn't agree you with more. The time you need it the most is the time it doesn't come easily. Thanks for dropping a comment.

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      I would like to be able to meditate during very high stress times, but that is the most difficult time to accomplish it.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Kathi, So glad you took a look and glad to hear that you are reaping the benefits of meditating. Thanks for leaving a comment for me.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Thanks for sharing Cyndi, I like to do guided meditation most the time. It's like a journey within and has many of the benefits you mentioned! Best to you, Kathi :O)

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Audrey, It took me a bit to get back to you. I really appreciate your comment. Take care and enjoy the season.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      We all need this about now Cyndi. I thought this was a lovely article on meditation--

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Peggy, I agree. Communing with nature is one of the best ways to find inner peace and calm. Thank you so much for the votes and the Tweet. I appreciate that.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I think the most calming place for me is when I am communing with nature. It can be in our backyard looking at flowers, birds, the little lizards...or it can be in grand national or state parks. Your advice is sage and I loved your photos. Up, useful and interesting votes. Tweeting.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      Basking in the glow of your warm warm words! Thanks so much for spreading your positive energy.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      ....actually I am meditating right now with my first cup of coffee and some lovely harp music (I always start my day with light classical music and never rock -lol - before 12 noon -lol)

      ...I also meditate by looking at my lake everyday of the year as I am lucky enough to live 150 feet away from it.

      I love the idea of looking at flowers though - that is perhaps the most soothing sight in the world and of course your lovely hub presentation here which is divine meditation in itself - made even more so by someone as special as you. Have a great day and sending you good energy and warm wishes from lake erie time ontario canada 7:59am

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      I do agree with you about the benefits of meditation. I believe it also helps with creativity because during the time your mind is "free and still," you actually recharge the creative juices. Thank you so much for the comments.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good morning

      I do so believe that meditation is a way for us to reenergize, reconnect, and find a calm we may be missing. How can that not be good for us? It just has to be. Taking time to smell the roses ...I am working on meditation; it has become very important in my life. Thank you for sharing this. ps

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 7 years ago from Georgia

      Awesome, Crystolite. I'm happy you appreciate the benefits of meditation.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 7 years ago from Houston TX

      Absolutely, One who dont meditate is mission a lot because they persons memory will be losing a lot.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 7 years ago from Houston TX

      Beautiful Info. Thanks for sharing. I will give it a trial

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you Saswata and Mary. I hope that you will try meditation on a regular basis.

    • profile image

      Mary 7 years ago

      Great article...going to give get a try. Also, passing on to Bill & Jayme.

    • profile image

      Saswata Nandi 7 years ago

      This is great Article.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 7 years ago from Georgia

      Sekhag, I appreciate your comment. It took me a while to embrace meditation,as well.

    • Sekharg profile image

      Sekharg 7 years ago from USA


      Very well written hub on meditation. I am very well aware of the benefits but never really did it. Will do in the near future.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for the comments Leon, Lucia and Levi. There are many who don't consider how beneficial meditation would be to their overall well being and the well being of those around them. It's all about placing a value on your mental health.

    • profile image

      Leon 7 years ago

      This makes a lot of sense. Sometimes you want to clear

      your mind of unpleasant thoughts so that you can fall asleep Also, when you can eliminate unpleasant thoughts

      it affects your entire body, mentally and physically. What I have to learn is the technique to get into this

      frame of mind because I know it will be beneficial.

    • profile image

      Lucia Byrd 7 years ago

      If everybody meditated maybe we wouldn't get in as many confrontations with family members and people we just meet on a day to day basis.

      Any natural way to get the blood pressure down is important.

      Thanks for the read.

      Lucia and Levi

    • profile image

      Richard 7 years ago

      Great article. Thanks for the info. I needed it.

    • profile image

      charles 7 years ago

      Excellent points made. It is indeed hard to really let random thoughts go but once accomplished, the feeling is indescribable. At the end of some training sessions, I make the client just take deep breaths for a minute to fully release their tension. I'll use ths info to tell them why they should do this at the end of each day. Less stress burns more fat!

    • profile image

      Carol 7 years ago

      Great article! We all need to take time to get back in touch with ourselves and "just be".

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for the feed back. Meditation is truly a gift that we all deserve to give ourselves. Glad to see you appreciate that.

    • profile image

      Katilia 7 years ago

      Thanks for the article. The message is one that is simple and true. Time waits for no one but at least enjoy a healthy mind, body, and spirit in a few minutes with mediation.

    • profile image

      Audrey Harris 7 years ago

      Love this article!!! I meditate everyday and she is dead on with how important centering ones spirit can be. Kudos to this peaceful writer:)


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