Most people believe to be physically fit, you must move around. But being still is also good exercise, that is if you meditate at the same time. In fact, being still during a meditation practice might be the best kind of exercise because it stimulates internal physical activity and facilitates numerous other health benefits.
Include a Christ-Centered Mediation practice in your daily routine to become closer to God, in addition to reaping the physical benefits generally associated with meditation. Here are seven physical benefits of Christ-Centered Meditation that will enrich your body, soul, and spirit.
1. Christ-Centered Meditation can improve heart health.
Do you realize Christ makes His home in your heart? For this reason, for many, He is known as “The Healer.” Therefore, in Christ-Centered Meditation, one goal is to connect to this healing power, which is at the very core of our being.
The Bible promises that Christ’s words become healthy to our body. When we believe, receive, and have faith that Christ and His words are “spirit and life,” we receive the power to heal. Psalms 147:3 explains, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
It is not surprising then that Christ-Centered Meditation is good for the heart. Medical studies confirm that meditation can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which may, in turn, reduce your risk of heart disease.
In the article, “Mediation offers significant heart benefits,” published by Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing, the author explains that meditation is an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. The result is lowered heart rate and blood pressure at the same time as lowering harmful hormones. To get the most benefit, you should meditate for at least 10 minutes each day.
I think we can all agree that is not much of a time investment given the amount of return you stand to gain. Although extremely important, a healthy heart is far from the only positive effect of meditation.
2. Christ-Centered Meditation can boost your immune system.
The immune system can do its job more efficiently when our body is calm. If we are anxious, our natural defense system will prioritize reducing the effects of stress, like inflammation, instead of working to keep us healthy all around. A calm mind and body allow the immune system to keep normal cells healthy and fight off any intruders (bacteria or viruses, for example) that can threaten our wellbeing.
Using Christ-Centered Meditation, we merge and become one with God’s Spirit. When we do, we experience His patience, kindness, and peace, which calms our mind and causes a relaxation response to release into our body. This process enables the immune system to do what it needs to keep us healthy.
A 2016 study conducted by two researchers out of USC and UCLA on the effects of meditation on immunity showed that regular meditation could improve immune function. More specifically, meditation can increase the immune system’s “helper cells.” These cells communicate to other cells telling them to destroy infections. Meditation also helps the immune system fight inflammation and prevent the deterioration of healthy cells.
Especially during any traumatic event, like divorce, when you may feel incredibly anxious and stressed, you are especially susceptible to getting sick. Keeping your immune system healthy will go a long way toward preserving your general wellness so you can, instead, use your energy to reinvent your present and future.
3. Christ-Centered Meditation can improve mental health.
As you can see from the studies I discuss above, meditation has become a standard recommended practice by health professionals to reduce anxiety and stress. In addition to my doctor suggesting it to me, almost every book I’ve read on anxiety recommended meditation, so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did. My Christ-Centered Meditation practice cured me of the anxiety disorder I developed as a result of my divorce.
Mid-life, after divorce, I established a small meditation space in my house. Daily, I returned to this place to meet with God. I became still every morning. At first, I could only sit for five minutes because I felt riddled with anxiety. Little by little, though, I found my new designated place to be a comforting and safe space.
I began to experience God inside me as His spirit worked on my fear. My breathing became relaxed, deep, and satisfying. It was as if I was breathing out my anxieties and fears and breathing in His love, protection, and presence.
A Christ-Centered Meditation practice keeps us returning to our meditation space over and over again because it enables us to grow an intimate, loving relationship with God. Not only does my meditation practice keep me stress- and anxiety-free, I look forward to it every morning. It gives me the strength I need to power through my day with both positivity and grace.
4. Christ-Centered Meditation can lead to better sleep.
Often it is our mind and thoughts that cause insomnia or an inability to sleep. Research suggests that various types of meditation can help with insomnia and can improve sleep quality. In another study, researchers found that participants who meditated experienced less insomnia, fatigue, and depression after only six sessions.
The reason for this is most likely because meditation is calming to the mind and body. Falling asleep requires a gradual reduction in arousal. Stressful and fearful thoughts cause our mind to overthink as it seeks a solution to defend against a threat (real or perceived) or solve a problem.
When a fear or stress response occurs, also known as “the fight or flight response,” a powerful hormone called cortisol is released into the body, causing a heightened state of arousal. It can take up to 12 hours for this hormone to return to normal levels.
With Christ-Centered Meditation, we practice turning our thoughts over to God and His power. We learn to exercise self-control over what we think, as God gives us authority over all our fearful thoughts. Our mind merges with the mind of Christ, and peace beyond understanding results. We learn to lean on the power of God to overcome and accept our challenges, which enables our mind to settle into a state of peace during the day, thereby preparing us for a good night’s sleep.
The best part is the effect spills into the next day and the day after that because when we get up early, before sunrise, as Jesus did, we are tired by the end of the day. Of course, if we sleep in, get too much sleep, or have too much caffeine, falling asleep can be difficult.
When you awake to meditate and to be filled with the Light of Christ in your heart you will begin to sense a harmony of body, soul, and spirit that brings the right amount of energy throughout the day. Sleep at the end of day becomes part of a natural rhythm. You rise, shine and rest. Then repeat.
5. Christ-Centered Meditation can help with pain management.
It is natural to try and avoid, repress, or manage pain. No one likes the experience of pain and suffering. However, when we repress or avoid pain, it can grow bigger in an effort to get our attention. Pain often has a story, and we need to listen to it.
In simple terms, meditation is the act of paying attention (bringing light) to everything we are experiencing in the present moment. When we pay attention to our pain with sincere compassion from our hearts, we shift our relationship with pain. Our pain becomes wrapped in the healing power of light and love, neutralizing or easing the difficult feelings we are experiencing.
In Christ-Centered Meditation, we can learn to tap into the Light of Christ and turn His healing light toward any pain or darkness in our body. We release old hurts and focus on new ones needing our attention. We grow stronger as we do.
When we have the courage to turn toward our pain and trust Christ to heal us, our suffering becomes lessened. Jesus demonstrated this shift from suffering to freedom. Pain and suffering are part of the spiritual journey. Like Jesus, we must first surrender all to God so we can become renewed with spiritual, psychological, and physical health.
6. Christ-Centered Meditation can improve memory retention.
Neuroscientists specializing in brain function have confirmed a clear link between meditation practice and enhanced memory. Research shows meditation increases the brain’s cortex layer. The cortex is the area associated with learning, concentration, and memory.
In Christ-Centered Meditation, we focus and concentrate on the conscience of God. In the Bible, we learn that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His Spirit is known as The Spirit of Knowledge and Understanding. God’s Spirit works on our minds, renewing our ability to think clearly and hold onto good thoughts.
Meditation can also dramatically improve your fluid intelligence and increase your overall I. Q. Research conducted by Siegfried Othmer, former president of the neurofeedback division of the Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, showed that those who meditated showed an average gain in I.Q. of 23 percent. Meditation can make you smarter.
Also, because God’s Spirit is known as “The Spirit of Truth,” a Christ-Centered Meditation practice helps us to identify and let go of lies and deceptions in our minds. This daily clearing out of useless “stuff” in our minds frees up more space to hold onto positive, truthful, and life-affirming thoughts.
7. Christ-Centered Meditation can improve physical fitness.
A Christ-Centered Meditation practice releases brain chemicals called endorphins and neurotransmitters like serotonin, which are the body’s “feel-good” chemicals. When our body feels good and has more energy, it improves our desire and ability to do physical fitness.
A meditation practice, or daily time with God, requires us to be disciplined. Starting our day with a spiritual discipline makes our spirit stronger. As our spirit becomes stronger (through discipline), we learn to value the virtue of strength.
Once we overcome any initial resistance that we might have to meet with God daily, we gain the power and confidence to overcome the resistance to being more physically fit. Our inner and outer strength begin to grow, and our soul feels good.
Once negative, this cycle becomes a positive one. More strength in spirit leads to a stronger body and a stronger soul.
Jesus Christ said, “I am the light of the world.” Christ-Centered Meditation will fill you with light. Light is a powerful form of energy. Light heals, illuminates, purifies, and works to improve body, soul, and spirit.
As you continue the practice, you will begin to feel lighter, quite literally. The sensation will get you up on your feet and moving and feeling good in ways you could never have imagined before.
That is because Christ-Centered Meditation enables us to make space for God to do His wondrous work in us. As God heals our heart, our anxiety lessens, we make better decisions and we sleep better. We awake refreshed and ready to be disciplined, knowing this discipline will lead us to be more powerful, joyful, and full of life.
Tonyah Dee has studied the Bible and wisdom traditions of the world for the last 30 years and teaches about finding ways to increase inner strength, stability, and confidence through practicing spiritual disciplines and healthy habits daily. Tonyah is a nutritionist, registered dietitian (R.D.), and earned her B.S. from Loma Linda University. She also holds certifications in Christ-centered life coaching, equine therapy, and meditation. Tonyah has been published in Scary Mommy, MSN, The Mighty, Mantra Wellness, CoveyClub, Thrive Global. Follow Tonyah on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Medium.