Meditation has been practiced in various forms for thousands of years. The purpose of meditation is to promote inner calm, peace, and balance in both the mind and body. Practicing regular meditation may help decrease stress levels, reduce blood pressure, and ease the perception of pain.

Meditation provides various physical and mental health benefits. Practicing regular meditation can help mitigate sleep issues, alleviate anxiety, ease muscle tension, reduce blood pressure, and decrease resting heart rate. Because it triggers the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain relievers), it can also help reduce chronic pain levels.

Types of meditation include, but are not limited to, guided imagery, mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, walking meditation, and transcendental meditation. Some forms of meditation focus the mind on a specific thing or act, such as deep breathing, visual imagery, or a repeated mantra. Other types of meditation focus on the practice of mindfulness, which involves becoming fully aware of the present moment while accepting bodily sensations and thoughts without judgment.