HEALTHY LIVING
11/01/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Om Remedies: How Meditation Helps Your Health

Meditation has a totally new image as a brain-builder, stress-buster, and depression-fighter -- and you don't have to be a hemp-loving hippie to enjoy it.

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I meditate for a few minutes every day, but not because I'm searching for so-called inner peace. Given that I can't even handle sitting next to strangers on planes, I'm about as likely to become one with the universe as Carmen Electra is to win an Oscar. I do it because meditation gives me confidence at the top of a double-black-diamond run, presence of mind when I have to give a toast at a wedding, and perspective when I'm brawling with my boyfriend. At the end of a rough day, meditation takes the edge off faster than a pomegranate martini. Yeah, it's that good.

But when I suggest to my equally stressed-out friends that they try meditating, they look at me like I have six heads. They think meditation is for Buddhist monks or people who grow pot in their basements. They assume it's too out there to have any real, positive effects. Which is why no one is more thrilled than I that recent scientific research is producing cold, hard evidence that meditation can reduce stress, promote healing, increase immunity, and even make you smarter. While I can't deny that my first reaction was a powerful urge to say "I told you so," after meditating on it I decided to get the word out because I genuinely hope that more people will learn the practice and start feeling a whole lot better.

Learn how to clear your mind here.

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