Over the past decade, meditation has become a popular health and wellness trend. But the practice has been around for thousands of years.
A lot of people judge meditation, make fun of it, or think they don’t have the time or attention span to do it.
“People think it’s hippy. People think it’s ‘woo woo.’ People think it’s all kind of things. But the bottom line is, there’s real data behind it,” says Dr. David Agus, MD, of USC’s Keck School of Medicine.
Mediation is the practice of focusing the mind on an object, thought, or activity to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.
Dr. Agus has conducted dozens of tests to measure brain activity while people are meditating.
“What you start to see is afterward they have more energy and more cognitive function. When you give them tests, they do better, and they feel better,” he says.
Suze Yalof Schwartz, the founder of “Unplug Meditation,” says she has seen her clients’ panic attacks disappear, fertility problems solved, and chronic pain go away, just through meditation.
“The studies and the science proves that it lowers blood pressure, it lowers anxiety, it helps you sleep better at night, there are just so many benefits that if it came in pill form, people would be completely addicted to it,” Schwartz told us.
Carrie Pollack went from being a skeptic to a self-proclaimed “meditation ambassador.”
“Just sitting with yourself in the discomfort didn’t seem right, but actually it’s the best thing that anyone can do for themselves,” Pollack says.
Megan Monahan, author of “Don’t Hate, Meditate,” instructs her students to either focus on breath, silently repeat a mantra, do a visualization or a body scan.
“It’s a mental workout, and just like physical workouts, we don’t always want to do it,” Monahan says. “We don’t always feel like we have time. It doesn’t always feel great, but you do it because of how it ripples out and affects your life.”
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