On-going stress can result in more serious health problems. Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of the various consequences prolonged stress can cause. Some stress-related issues may include asthma, obesity, diabetes, depression, heart disease as well as many other ailments. Of course, these more serious ailments, if not taken care of, can lead to death. Therefore, alleviating stress in your life can help increase your chances of living longer and having a healthy and fulfilling retirement. 

There are numerous ways to help reduce stress. However, one of the more effective methods is meditation. 

How exactly does meditation work? 

Originally, meditation was designed for spiritual purposes with practitioners believing the practice can enhance your understanding of the universe and existence. Meditation has been practiced by human beings for thousands of years. However, today people have found meditation can help relax the body and mind while relieving stress. 

Most meditative techniques will have you focus on a single object, thought or bodily sensation. Usually this will be singularly focusing on the rhythm of your breathing. However, other common meditation focuses will include a relaxing image or memories of a soothing past experience. Some meditation methods will have you focus on a specific sentence or phrase. 

The objective is to improve your ability to handle the overwhelming number of thoughts and impulses plaguing your mind and causing you stress. Deep breathing and focusing your mind help your body destress and relax. 

Help physical ailments 

Meditation can actually help alleviate certain physical illnesses and ailments related to prolonged stress. Although this is backed by scientific evidence, it should also be noted it remains inconclusive as to whether or not meditation is truly beneficial to deal with physical ailments. 

Among the stress-related ailments meditation is said to help include anxiety, heart disease, depression, headaches, and insomnia. Amazingly, it has also been shown meditation may be able to assist your body in battling cancer. 

How does meditation reduce stress exactly? 

The body’s autonomic nervous system controls and regulates your body’s involuntary actions, including breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure. The parasympathetic and the sympathetic are the two opposing parts of the autonomic nervous system. 

Stressful situations activate the sympathetic system which produces specific chemicals that causes hypervigilance and makes you feel jumpy and on edge. On the other hand, the parasympathetic part of the nervous system tells your body to calm down and allows you to destress. Just like stressful situations turn on the sympathetic system, meditation can counteract this by activating the parasympathetic system. 

Meditation helps prolong your life 

Stress can shorten your life if it ends up causing more serious health issues and ailments. Meditation’s ability to reduce stress through the activation of the parasympathetic system may help you avoid these health problems, meaning you may live a longer life. This could also allow you to reach your golden years in a healthy state, enabling you to enjoy retirement to its fullest, as long as you have prepared financially with an effective wealth management strategy. Contact us to help build that wealth management strategy.


Opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. 

This material is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.