5 reasons why listening to a Compassion meditation will improve my health
The meditations on the HI CHI App all focus on different ways to increase and cultivate mindfulness. There are two meditations that increase feelings of compassion towards ourselves and others. Whilst listening to these meditations will relax our mind and give us a feeling of positive wellbeing, it is also interesting to note that they have a dramatic effect on our physical health too.
Here are 5 reasons why listening to compassion meditations will improve our health.
Feeling compassionate is actually great for our brain health!
We are wired to feel compassion and it has a direct effect on our brain. Our brain is like a muscle that needs to be flexed in different ways, so that it becomes stronger and healthier.
When we feel compassionate, we actually expand the left side of the brain’s prefrontal cortex region. This means that the more we exercise our compassion muscle, the more easily this emotion will flow for us. We can literally train our brain to grow in this area, by being compassionate.
Studies show that giving to others makes us happier than giving to ourselves
There are numerous studies that show that we are happier when we give to others. Giving charity gives us a feel good feeling that is higher than giving to ourselves. The act of giving activates our pleasure centres in our brain just as much as when we receive from others. When we give to others we are increasing our wellbeing in all ways.
Compassion reduces inflammation and keeps us looking younger
Studies show that the more we practice being compassionate, the more we can reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a major contributor to diseases and it also prematurely ages us.
In a 2009 study, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine trained 33 people in compassion meditation. Those who practiced a compassion meditation for 6 weeks, had much lower levels of inflammation than those who didn’t.
Compassion helps us to view people much more positively which reduces stress
A lot of time can be wasted on getting stressed out about other people’s actions. When we have a compassionate perspective we will be likely to be much more understanding about other people and why they behave the way they do. This will improve our quality of life as we create much more meaningful relationships and see the best in others.
Compassion naturally releases oxytocin and is good for heart health
When we feel compassionate we tend to be more inclined to give someone a hug or a reassuring gesture. We are wired as human beings to enjoy close contact and it stimulates a release of oxytocin. Oxytocin has a very positive effect on our immune system and it also reduces blood pressure.