10 greatest meditation benefits for your brain and your life
Mediation is gifted knowledge of god to keep you calm to your brain and your life.here are 10 greatest mediation benefits that will help you to reduce your stress many more .
What is meditation?
Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase the awareness of the present moment, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth. (Gale Encyclopedia)
Meditation has been practiced for about thousands of years. It originated in the pursuit for deeper understanding of the mystical forces of life, although todays is mainly used as a technique for reducing the stress and anxiety levels.
Benefits of meditation
In the last few years a lot of research has been done on discovering the benefits of meditation, especially with the invention of the fMRI, and every now and then a new study comes out illustrating a new benefit. In the following text I’m going to briefly mention a few of them.
1.meditation benefits:Reduces stress and anxiety –
When someone feels stressed and anxious, the “flight or fight” part of the nervous system gets activated, while during practicing mindfulness meditation activation of the “rest and digest” part of the nervous system is promoted, which causes the heart and respiration rate to slow down and lowers the blood pressure, making us feel more relaxed.
A studies performed at Stanford and Harvard Universities found that after 8-week of mindfulness meditation, the reactivity of the amygdala (part of the brain responsible for triggering fear) was reduced and the activity in the areas of the prefrontal cortex responsible for emotions was increased.
This showed that meditation is practically realistic stress and anxiety management technique and can be used as substitute for the anti-anxiety medications.
2.meditation benefits:Helps treat depression –
Along with stress, depression is one of the most devastating experiences that people face today. Many studies conducted for discovering the effects that meditation has on depression, concluded that practicing mindfulness meditation over some period has the same effects as the anti-depressant drugs, along with another benefit – it doesn’t produce any side effects.
3.meditation benefits:Helps reduce alcohol and substance abuse –
Alcohol and drug abuse treatments require comprehensive treatment plan, which includes many activities among which is meditation. Even Alcoholics Anonymous suggests meditation as a support tool for the recovering alcoholics to help them stay sober.
Many studies show that mindfulness meditation can help recovering alcoholics to overcome the urge of having a drink. Meditating helps them to acknowledge the urge to drink, without being tempted by it.
Also, the positive effect that meditation has on stress and anxiety is of great importance for people who suffered from alcohol and drug abuse, since they are the most common triggers for relapse.
4.meditation benefits:Improves concentration –
Many research studies have shown that practicing meditation every day, even just a couple of minutes, can help increase the attention, focus and memory.
A study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston showed that regular meditation causes the brain’s cerebral cortex (part of the brain responsible for higher functions as concentration, learning and memory) to thicken, by increasing the size of the blood vessels and blood flow in that region.
5.meditation benefits:Increases happiness –
A study led by Yale University found that mindfulness meditation decreases the activity of the Default Mode Network (“monkey mind”), which when is “on”, is responsible for mind-wandering and associated with the feeling of being less happy, worrying about the past and the future. This and many other studies have shown that meditation helps quieting the DMN, increasing the ability to quickly get out of the mind-wandering state.
6.Increases self-awareness, learning, memory and compassion –
A group of Harvard neuroscientist ran an experiment where they submitted 16 people to an 8-week mindfulness course, integrating guided meditation and mindfulness into their everyday activities.
The results from the experiment showed increased concentration of the brain’s gray matter (CNS tissue involved in processing information in the brain) in the areas of the brain that are responsible for learning, memory, regulating emotions, self-awareness.
7.meditation benefits Increases creativity –
Research conducted by the Leiden University in Netherlands showed that practicing open monitored meditation has positive effects on creativity. Participants who were part of the open monitored meditation practice performed much better in a task where they were asked to come up with new creative ideas.
8.meditation benefits Improves positive relationships and empathy –
According to a study from Emory University, practicing loving-kindness (metta) meditation boosts the ability to empathize with others and promotes the development of positive emotions, such as loving attitude towards oneself and others, self-acceptance, positive relations with others.
9.meditation benefits- Improves the immune system
The immune system is highly intelligent, and for still unknown reasons, is greatly influenced by the positive and negative thoughts, sensations, moods and experiences. Since meditation creates positive mental environment it helps the immunes system to flourish.
It also increases the level of antibodies which help in the fight against diseases. A lot of studies showed that mindfulness meditation increases the electrical activity in the prefrontal cortex, the right anterior insula, and the right hippocampus (all parts of the brain that control positive emotions, awareness and anxiety), which when stimulated make the immunes system function more effectively.
10.meditation benefits:Lowers the high blood pressure –
Since stress is one of the most common reason for developing high blood pressure and heart disease, reducing the stress levels can help prevent these conditions. Practicing meditations reduces the stress, brings balance in your life, and helps you focus on things that can help you lead healthier life.