Mindfulness activates your parasympathetic nervous system.

From OptimalScience

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  • A study[1] conducted on heart rate variability during meditation which emphasizes inward attention, investigated two groups of subjects: 10 experimental subjects with Zen meditation experience and 10 control subjects without any meditation experience. The results of the study were as follows:
    • Analysis of the heart rate variability both in time and frequency domains revealed common as well as different effects on the heart rate variability between inward-attention meditation and normal rest.
    • The most significant difference of effects between the two groups were the decrease of low frequency/high frequency ratio and low frequency norm, as well as the increase of high frequency norm.
      • This implied the advantage of a sympathovagal balance toward parasympathetic activity.
    • Regular oscillating rhythms too, were observed of the heart rate while the low frequency/high frequency ratio was not large under meditation.
  • Additionally,
    • The findings of the study indicate that regular oscillations of heart rate signal could appear in the high-frequency band of the heart rate variability with smaller amplitude.
    • Inward attention meditation practice appears to push the sympathovagal balance to parasympathetic predominance and induce oscillations that are regular in heart rate.
    • The results of the study seem to support health benefits in meditation wherein the sympathovagal balance toward sympathetic activity due to stress or disease.

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Ayesh Perera