In light of rising healthcare costs and uncertainty about impending reform, the old adage that prevention is the best medicine has never been more relevant.
As a result, psychologist Robert Puff, of Newport Beach, Calif., recommends using meditation as a way to reduce stress and stave off illness.
"Major studies show that a significant cause of illness is stress. And meditation is one of the most powerful ways of reducing it," Puff said.
The American Cancer Society has defined meditation as a mind-body practice in which the practitioner concentrates or reflects on the present, focusing on one particular aspect. The organization supports the idea that meditation may help to reduce stress, chronic pain, blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as boost mood and immunity, among other benefits.
To practice meditation, choose a quiet, relaxing location and sit comfortably with eyes closed. Choosing a mantra or a pleasant idea may help to bring the mind into a state of calm and concentration. Practitioners should aim to separate themselves from thoughts or worries of everyday life.