Meditation

Meditation and Immunity: Is There a Real Connection?

Science spills the beans.

By: Emma Lunsford

When you hear the word meditation, do you think of immune-boosting properties? Probably not. A decade ago, whenever meditation was brought up, most of us just viewed meditation as a practice to help bust stress. But now? We’re starting to realize that Eastern health methods are on to something, particularly when it comes to meditation and immunity. 

Meditation and Immunity: But Is There a Real Connection?

First, let’s uncover some things that affect your immune system: lack of sleep, stress, and anxiety — to name a few. You’ll see below that mindful meditation can positively affect all of these areas in your life. This means that, indirectly, meditation can help your immunity by boosting your overall wellness. But what about directly?

Some studies show meditation may also lower inflammation markers, increase cell-mediated immunity, and decrease biological aging. Although, of course, science is always revealing new answers, there’s a possibility mindfulness affects our health on a cellular level. How cool is that? Even a short, simple meditation can have powerful, long-lasting effects on our health. 

5 Other Incredible Benefits of Consistent Mindful Meditation

Meditation and immunity isn’t the only star of the show here. Mindful meditation — when practiced regularly — can benefit so many other aspects of your life.

#1 Improving Sleep

Meditation, in itself, is a relaxation technique. Studies show that consistent mindful meditation practices can increase your melatonin levels, serotonin levels, reduce heart rate, decrease blood pressure, and activate parts of the brain that control sleep.

You can even do it just before bed if you’re having trouble winding down! Try these FitOn sleep meditations. 

#2 Increasing Focus

Your mind is like a muscle. The more you train it, the better you get at optimizing it. This can be said for all things you’re trying to accomplish because the brain is amazing at adapting. Meditation is basically like training your brain to focus more and more. For instance, it could be around focusing on your thoughts, your breath, or even the feelings and sensations in your body. 

The more you meditate, the more you may notice your focus improves in other areas of your life, like work and conversations. 

#3 Boosts Better Moods

At this point, we all know the mind-body connection is strong. For instance, someone struggling with anxiety could also experience gut issues. This is why we’re realizing that focusing on improving emotional health is just as important as the physical. 

Thankfully, mindful meditation has been shown to decrease negative thoughts and promote more positive thinking, which in turn promotes a healthier body. Amazing!

RELATED: Is Stress Affecting Your Gut? A Mental Health Expert Explains

#4 Increases Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is super important for breaking bad habits and growing into your best self. To top it off, when you understand yourself and how you relate to others around you, it can boost your self-esteem and offer a more positive outlook on the world.

And meditation? Yep, you guessed it. Mindful meditation helps you develop a strong relationship with yourself as you narrow down your own unique life patterns.

#5 Promotes Healthier Relationships

Mindful meditation teaches you to react less and respond more. For instance, instead of getting super irritated at a nearby noise while you’re trying to work, you can respond in a more constructive way instead of just losing your cool. This can be a game-changer for your relationships, as it promotes more unconditional love, trust, respect, and patience with each other. 

Meditation is an All-Around Great Tool to Increase Your Wellbeing

Science has shown a connection between meditation and immunity, but it’s not the only amazing thing that can come from mindfulness! Improved sleep, focus, concentration, mood, and communication skills can benefit too. And to make things even more enticing, it’s free! Meditation requires zero equipment– just you and a willingness to learn. 

As with anything, it takes practice. So don’t be afraid to start slow and build your way up. For instance, go for a short, 5-minute meditation in the morning before diving into a 30-minute long mindfulness session. And remember — it gets easier over time! You got this.

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