Benefits Of Meditation For The Brain
It’s not exactly a secret anymore, but there are a ton of studies that show the benefits regular meditation has on the brain. As a matter of fact, there are a large number of studies, even some newer ones, that support the neurological benefits associated with meditation. Here are some of the top studies that have come out in the last few years that detail the connection between the improved health of your brain and meditation.
Reduced Activity in The Area Of Your Brain That Wanders
A study by Yale University found that meditation can actually decrease activity in the area of your brain that is responsible for wandering and daydreaming. This part of the brain is “on” when you are thinking about nothing and your mind wanders.
Typically, mind-wandering is associated with unhappiness, and worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, so a lot of people like to cut down on that. This study shows that meditation can help reduce the chances of your mind wandering. Even if it doesn’t reduce your daydreaming, meditation can help you snap out of it sooner.
Preserves Aging Brain
In a recent study from UCLA, researchers discovered that meditators who have been meditating for a long time have better preserved brains than non-meditators at their age. Obviously, the study revealed that older meditators have more loss of brain volume than the younger meditators due to age. However, the decreased volume wasn’t nearly as drastic as it was for the non-meditators.
Florian Kurth, the author of the study said,
We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating. Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation…throughout the entire brain.
Acts As An Antidepressant
John Hopkins University published a review study a couple years ago that focused on the relationship between meditation and its ability to help reduce the symptoms of illnesses such as anxiety, pain and depression. The team of researchers found that the effect that meditation has on fighting those types of illnesses is actually quite high. As researcher Madhav Goyal said,
A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing. But that’s not true. Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.
While it certainly isn’t going to be a magic pill that automatically helps depression, meditation is a key tool in helping manage the symptoms.
Improved Attention And Concentration
A lot of people assume that lacking the ability to pay attention and concentrate is simply a kid problem, but it’s definitely not! It actually affects millions of adults as well, and not all of them are diagnosed with ADD.
Unsurprisingly, meditation can help improve your attention and concentration. A recent study indicates that after meditating regularly for just a couple of weeks is more than enough to help people’s focus and memory improve. One of the biggest focal points of meditation has to do with attention, so it really isn’t too big of a surprise that meditation can help improve your attention and overall concentration.
There are countless people that turn to meditation not only as a way to relax, but they find it to be a great tool in helping reduce their stress. There’s plenty of scientific research that proves meditation can reduce your stress levels. There is a specific type of meditation that focuses completely on reducing the stress you have, both mentally and physically.
Studies and research concluded that meditation may help reduce anxiety, even for years after the initial time of an eight-week course. In addition to the regular stress and anxiety that you may be experiencing, meditation can also help those people who suffer from social anxiety disorders.
A team at Stanford University found that certain types of meditation can actually bring change to different brain regions, which is what helps provide relief to symptoms of stress and social anxiety.
As you can see, meditation clearly has an effect on the brain. Meditation can ultimately help you do a lot more than you ever thought you could. Having a healthy brain is one of the most important things you can do for your brain’s health. By meditating, you can ensure that your brain will remain strong and healthy for years to come.
While there are a lot of benefits to list when it comes to meditation helping the brain, the few examples listed above should be more than enough to make you realize just how beneficial it can be!