Meditation Reduces Stress and
Literally Changes Your Brain
THE POWER OF THOUGHT
Meditation has recently ignited
a firestorm of interest,
as scientific research seems to
indicate that meditation changes
your brain on a fundamental,
Dr. Robert Puff, a licensed
clinical psychologist, notes in
Psychology Today that descriptions of
meditation techniques date back
at least some 3,000 years,
to Indian scriptures written in
approximately 1000 BCE.
However, the practice itself
appears to be far, far older.
Some evidence suggests that individuals
were describing the practice
as long as 5,000 years ago.
And it wasn’t until the 20th century
that mainstream scientists started
researching the impact that
it has on the human body—
specifically, the impact it has
on the human brain.
To date, a host of medical uses
have been found for meditation.
The most obvious use is, perhaps,
stress management and reduction,
which is supported by a
plethora of scientific evidence.
In a study published in
Clinical Psychology Review,
researchers at Boston University and
Harvard Medical School found that
the technique helps alleviate anxiety
and allows individuals to better
cope with stressful situations.
A 2001 study by Dr. Fadel Zeidan,
professor of neurobiology and anatomy
at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center,
found that meditation helps
individuals cope with, and better
tolerate, physical pain.
But this is just the start of
the research that has been
conducted in relation to meditation.
In a 2015 study published in
Frontiers in Psychology, researchers
from UCLA found that individuals
who meditate over extended periods
have more gray matter volume
in their brains than those that do not.
The work looked at individuals
who been meditating for an
average of 20 years, and the
impact was pronounced.
As researcher Florian Kurth notes:
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
that encompassed regions
throughout the entire brain.
A 2011 study in Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, which
was conducted by Yale University,
discovered that meditation decreases
activity in the default mode network
(DMN) in the brain.
This reveals the actual biological
impact of meditation and helps
bring to light “a unique
understanding of possible
neural mechanisms of meditation.”
And still, the evidence does not end.
Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at
Massachusetts General Hospital
and Harvard Medical School,
recently conducted work which found
that individuals who meditate
ultimately have more gray matter
in the frontal cortex and,
most notably, that this gray matter
is preserved in spite of aging.
The significance is overwhelming.
As Lazar asserts in an interview
with the Washington Post,
“It’s well-documented that our
cortex shrinks as we get older –
it’s harder to figure things out
and remember things.
But in this one region of the
prefrontal cortex, 50-year-old
meditators had the same amount
of gray matter as 25-year-olds.”
In other words, as a result of
transformations in the brain,
individual who meditate have a
better chance of retaining
their memory function in old age.
And it doesn’t take much for
individuals to reap the benefits.
An average meditation of
27 minutes a day for 8 weeks
is enough for seeing results.
So, how can you reap the benefits?
Scientists assert that meditation
reduces cortisol levels and
an increase in serotonin production,
decreasing your heart rate
and blood pressure.
There’s little debate in
the science regarding
the benefits of meditation.
According to research,
meditation has been linked
to reduced feelings of depression,
anxiety, and physical pain.
Simplified Kundalini Yoga helps to
improve focus, lower blood pressure,
strengthen memory, and reduce fatique,
just to name a few.
Meditating on your life force
need not take a lot of work.
Learn to Meditate today.
Be Blessed by the Divine,
Krish Murali Eswar.