1. It might help you modify disease by controlling stress.
Long-standing stress can exacerbate and worsen conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, depression, anxiety, muscle tension and pain, insomnia, stomach upset, and asthma. Meditation may soothe the feelings and thought processes that add fuel to a stress response, producing calmness instead of stoking distress. The conjecture, says Richard Davidson, neuroscience and meditation researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is that "there are circuits in the brain that are up-regulated by stress that can be down-regulated by meditation." The sympathetic nervous system, which initiates the fight or flight response, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, which controls stress reaction and other processes including mood and the immune system—often hyperactivated if a person is anxious or distressed—are probably calmed by meditation, experts theorize.