Meditation is a powerful tool that offers many benefits to health. It is the act of thinking in a deep way or focusing the mind for a certain amount of time with the intention of achieving feelings of calm and peace. Although meditation is an old method that's been practiced for centuries, researchers are only beginning to research its effects on the human body.
A particular area of study focuses on the effects of meditation on the brain. Studies have shown that meditation provides numerous benefits for the brain including changes to brain volume to less activity in the areas of the brain that are involved in stress.
meditation can cause tangible modifications to our most significant organ. The skeptical might ask, what's the point of the brain's changes if the psychological consequences aren't being portrayed simultaneously? There's a lot of evidence to back these claims and studies have shown that meditation aids in reducing subjective anxiety and depression as well as increasing concentration, attention as well as overall psychological well-being.
Here are 7 ways meditation can actually change the brain:
1. Meditation Helps Preserve the Aging Brain
A recent study conducted by UCLA discovered that long-term meditation practitioners were more healthy brains than those who didn't as they grew older. People who had been meditating for at least 20 years were denser in grey matter across the brain. while older meditators also suffered some loss of volume in comparison to younger meditators however, it was not as noticeable as non-meditators. "We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating.
2. Meditation Reduces Activity in the Brain's "Me Center"
A number of fascinating research studies over the past few years, which was conducted at Yale University, discovered that mindfulness meditation reduces the activity in the default mode brain network (DMN) which is the brain's neural network that's responsible for self-referential and mind-wandering thoughts as well as self-referential thoughts." monkey mind." The DMN is "on" or active when you're not contemplating anything particular or when your thoughts wander between thoughts. Since mind-wandering is generally linked to being unhappy or ruminating about things, as well as thinking about the future as well as the past It is the intention of many people to turn it down.
3. Its Affects on Rival Antidepressants for Depression and Anxiety
A retrospective study that was conducted last year at Johns Hopkins looked at the connection between mindfulness meditation and its capacity to decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and anxiety. Madhav Goyal, a researcher, and his team discovered that the impact of meditation is moderate at 0.3. If this seems low take note that the effect of antidepressants also is 0.3 which means that the benefits of meditation seem pretty impressive. Meditation is after all an active method of brain training. "A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing," Goyal explains. "But this isn't the case. Meditation is continuous training of the mind in order to improve awareness.
4. Meditation May Lead to Volume Changes in Key Areas of the Brain
Meditation practices that focus on mindfulness can actually alter the brain's structure in eight weeks of mindfulness-based stress Reduction (MBSR) is discovered to boost cortical thickness in the hippocampus. It is responsible for memory and learning, as well as in specific areas of the brain, which play roles in the regulation of emotions and self-referential processing. Additionally, there was a decrease in the volume of brain cells in the amygdala region, which is responsible for anxiety, fear, and stress. Moreover, these changes were correlated with people's self-reports on their stress levels. This indicates that meditation doesn't just change the brain, but also alters our perceptions and emotions as well.
5. Just a Few Days of Training Improves Concentration and Attention
Concentration issues aren't just an issue for kids. It is a problem that affects millions of adults too, whether they have to ADD diagnosed or not. It's not surprising that one of the major advantages of meditation is that it boosts concentration and attention. One study from recent study discovered that only one-two days of training improved the focus of people and memory when they took the verbal reasoning portion of the GRE. In actual fact, the improvement in score was equal to 16 percentile points which is nothing to be sneezed at.
6. Meditation Reduces Anxiety and Social Anxiety
Many people begin meditation for the benefits it can bring in anxiety reduction There's a lot of solid evidence to back this theory. There's a brand new type of meditation, which was discussed earlier, which is called Mindfulness-Based Reduction (MBSR) which was developed by Jon Kabat Zinn at the University of Massachusetts' Center for Mindfulness (now accessible throughout the United States) and aims to reduce stress levels both physically and mentally. Studies have proven its effectiveness in reducing anxiety even beyond the initial 8-week class. studies have also demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness-based meditation as opposed to focusing on the breath alone it can help reduce anxiety and these changes are believed to be controlled by the brain regions involved in those self-referential ("me-centered") thoughts. Mindfulness-based meditation has been found to aid people suffering from social anxiety disorders.
7. Meditation is a great way to help Addiction
A rising quantity of studies has shown that due to its effect on self-control areas of the brain mindfulness can be extremely beneficial in helping addicts recover from different forms of addiction. The study discovered that those who practiced mindfulness were more likely to stop smoking at the conclusion of the program and also at 17 weeks afterward, than those who were in the standard treatment. This could be due to the fact that mindfulness can help people "decouple" the state of craving from smoking cigarettes and vice versa, meaning that one does not necessarily have to cause the other to happen instead, you can be able to fully experience and ride your "wave" of craving until it ends.