Dean Ornish, medical editor for the Huffington Post:
"People who have had a heart attack sometimes say it was the best thing that ever happened to them, and I say, 'Are you crazy?' They say, 'Well, no, but that is what it took to begin making these changes that have made my life so much more profoundly joyful and meaningful.' Change is hard, but if we are in enough pain, the idea of change becomes more appealing and we will try just about anything. When we make these changes, the pain subsides, and not only the physical pain like angina from heart disease or back pain, but deeper levels of pain that are more difficult to measure but are often more meaningful. When we can focus on something, which is what meditation does; it enhances our inner communication, giving us more personal power and peace of mind.
"When people are stressed out, they may say, 'My fuse is shorter and I explode more easily, but when I meditate on a regular basis, my fuse is longer. The situation does not change, but how I react to it does.' Meditation allows us to experience more of an internal sense of well-being. It dampens our sympathetic nervous system. It enhances our parasympathetic nervous system so we can relax. Our mind quiets down. Our breathing becomes slower and deeper. Our metabolic rate balances."