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Harvard Medical School: What meditation can do for your mind, mood, and health

Harvard Women’s Health Watch

Image: Thinkstock

Taking a few minutes to focus your mind each day can reduce stress, pain, depression, and more.

You can’t see or touch stress, but you can feel its effects on your mind and body. In the short term, stress quickens your heart rate and breathing and increases your blood pressure. When you’re constantly under stress, your adrenal glands overproduce the hormone cortisol. Overexposure to this hormone can affect the function of your brain, immune system, and other organs. Chronic stress can contribute to headaches, anxiety, depression, heart disease, and even premature death.

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