How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body
While meditation itself goes back thousands of years, and has been a popular activity in many societies–especially the Buddhist monks–science is only recently starting to show us why we should all be getting comfortable with it.
Recent research has discovered that meditation leads to physical changes inside the brain. It can relax us and help fight depression, it improves our ability to focus, and it can make us more accepting and aware of what goes on around us–a skill not lost in a time when we’re constantly consumed by our smartphones. New research presented in the New york Times details some more of the benefits:
‘‘We had everyone do stretching exercises, for instance,’’ Dr. Creswell says. The mindfulness group paid close attention to bodily sensations, including unpleasant ones. The relaxation group was encouraged to chatter and ignore their bodies, while their leader cracked jokes.
At the end of three days, the participants all told the researchers that they felt refreshed and better able to withstand the stress of unemployment. Yet follow-up brain scans showed differences in only those who underwent mindfulness meditation. There was more activity, or communication, among the portions of their brains that process stress-related reactions and other areas related to focus and calm. Four months later, those who had practiced mindfulness showed much lower levels in their blood of a marker of unhealthy inflammation than the relaxation group, even though few were still meditating.
By now it should be beyond doubt that meditation is great activity that we should all partake in. Check out the full article for more details on the study.
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About Sam Brinson Sam is a writer living in Uruguay. Sam follows the latest in aging break throughs.