Meditation has significant health benefits, and in fact can reduce the needs of many medications, surgeries, and the like. HH the Dalai Lama has compiled a book with other authors about how the mind itself changes with meditation. In the book they study where and how the brain experiences various things, including severe depression. In some brains depression may appear like a normal brain, however they discuss how it is a fundamental change in how the brain works.
Meditation is known to help with hypertension, anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and also fundamentally improves brain function. All mediators experience “ah ha” moments, but more than this long-term habits of meditation changes how the brain functions, and all for the better. It is more than simply insight or relaxation that we get, everything from the troubles of daily life, to a childhood of torment all become absolutely clear and bright as crystal. On a biological and chemical basis our minds are able to process information and our life experiences in a totally different way.
It is a state of relaxation, and with that brings an open and flexible mind. In generations past, before the automobile, before cell phones, and before health insurance people had and could take time to think and do things. Life was non-mechanized in the past, and likewise people had the mental space that so many lack now. Meditation helps to bring back a little space, and in the space the mediator’s mind is free to make choice which are better, more free, and happier.