19 Science-Backed Reasons to Meditate DECEMBER 31, 2014 |BY ALEXANDRA DURON

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Meditation for Mood
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1. Ditch depression.
Research suggests that 30 minutes of meditation improves depression symptoms (along with anxiety and pain) . In fact, the practice could possibly prevent depression and pain altogether—scientists discovered that people who meditate may have more control over how their brains process and pay attention to negative sensations (like pain) and negative thoughts (like depression triggers).
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2. Stress less.
Nix those nail-biting moments already. When you meditate, you’re able to override a part of the brain responsible for the fear mechanism (which releases cortisol, the damaging stress hormone that’s responsible for a whole grab bag of health issues), says Korda. One study suggests that meditation can cut back on anxiety by almost 40 percent . And it doesn’t take a ton of time to reap these keep-calm-and-carry-on benefits. Just 25 minutes of meditation (done three times per week) may make tasks feel less stressful, according to recent research .
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3. Relieve headaches.
Meditation may be an excellent line of defense against those horrible head-pounding episodes. Recent research finds that the practice leads to major relief of tension headaches (though it’s worth noting that the treatment program in this study involved both meditation and medication, like muscle relaxants) .
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4. Be nicer.
Meditation may help you kill ‘em with kindness. In one study, the practice was linked with more empathy and laughter, being more social, and having a more team-oriented mentality (the meditation practitioners in the study used the word “we” more than “I”).
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