THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vice President M Hamid Ansari Tuesday said Yoga, meditation, spirituality and praying have a positive effect on the overall well-being of an individual.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 90th birthday celebrations of Navajyothi Sree Karunakara Guru at Shanthigiri Ashram in nearby Pothencode, he said there were several examples of how some people overcame trauma such as abduction, war and imprisonment by seeking comfort in spirituality.
"Spirituality can force one to evaluate his or her life and gradually change it for the better", Ansari said.
Referring to Yoga, Ansari said the systematic practice of Yoga has been found to reduce stress, decrease depression and anxiety, regulate blood pressure and increase feelings of well-being.
Similarly, meditation can induce feelings of calm as well as improve concentration and attention, he said.
"Some researchers have reported that meditation increases the brain's neural activity, which can reduce sensitivity to pain, enhance one's immune system, regulate difficult emotions and relieve stress," he said.
With regard to praying, Ansari said, "It may also elicit a relaxation response, along with feelings of hope, gratitude and compassion, all of which have a positive effect on overall wellbeing of the individual, and by extensions, the society".
Governor Justice (retd) P Sathasivam, Minister K Raju, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurian were among those present on the occasion.
Swami Gururethnam Jnana Thapaswi, organising secretary of Shanthigiri Ashram welcomed the Vice President and other dignitaries.