Why do people meditate?

Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
The reasons people meditate are as varied as the types of mediation that are available. Many people meditate as part of their religious or spiritual practice while others use it for medical purposes.
Since the early 1970’s in the United States, there has been an increased interest in meditation for its therapeutic effect. It has been found to boost the immune system, improve the body’s response to insulin, reduce blood pressure, and improve the quality of life for patients with congestive heart failure and cancer. Meditation can also reduce anxiety, help with insomnia and improve longevity. 
Meditation is a process that involves relaxing the body and quieting the mind. There are many types of meditation. Transcendental meditation requires the participant to repeat a word or phrase known as a mantra. Some forms focus on the breath and still others such as Tai Chi can be done through movement.
The bottom line: Regardless of the initial reason that gets them started most people meditate because it helps them to feel good.

People meditate for different reasons: to feel calm, to diminish stress or pain, to get through a crisis, or to engage in a spiritual practice. We might approach meditation for specific reasons, and then discover that we want to attain a different level of consciousness or a deeper, more gratifying state of relaxation. While practicing meditation, we may feel more alert and resourceful in our daily lives.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.