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Improving Our Lives with Meditation

            Every year, many people strive to make changes to better themselves. A new year is a new start and the perfect time to be motivated to make a change or implement something new. Meditation is one of the few practices that many people take to during the new year. Meditation has been described as "medication" because of it's ability to help improve several health conditions (Willits). Meditation dates back thousands of years to ancient India (Chow). In addition, 20% of teenagers ages 13-18 live with or at one point in their life will live with a mental health condition, which can be prevented with mediation ("Mental Disorders"). Because of it's ability to improve mental, physical, and emotional well-being, more people should take up daily meditation. .
             It's a shame that several mental health conditions aren't taken seriously. Having a mental health problem can be debilitating and it can take over a person's life. However, studies have shown that meditation can improve anxiety, social anxiety, stress and several other mental illnesses (Chu). In addition, meditation can decrease the chances of a relapse into depression (Chu). This is significant, particularly for students, because of the endless workload from school, sports, and jobs. Also, as high school students are expected to do more presentations and public speaking along with making real world contacts, this can bring on a lot of social anxiety and meditation can help lessen this. Meditation also has the ability to make people rational thinkers (Cooper). The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that makes people feel frightened or scared (Cooper). When a person meditates the neuron connections to this part of the brain are weakened (Cooper). Being a rational thinker can be essential when in threatening circumstances. .
             Not only does meditation help mental health, but it also positively impacts physical health. Meditation has a relaxation effect which helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves,'" (qtd.

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