Science is making ground-breaking discoveries on what happens to the brain after meditation. A practise of just 30-minutes of daily meditation can literally change the structure of your brain for the better. “The analysis of MRI images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.”
As well as improved brain functioning, mediation is also proving to be a force for good in the gut too. A Harvard University study showed that creating a state of deep relaxation changes the physical and emotional responses to stress and is a huge help in the treatment of gut disorders such as IBS.
In a 2012 study, researchers compared brain images from 50 adults who meditate and 50 adults who don’t meditate. Results suggested that people who practiced meditation for many years have more folds in the outer layer of the brain. This process (called gyrification) may increase the brain’s ability to process information.
A 2013 review of three studies suggests that meditation may slow, stall, or even reverse changes that take place in the brain due to normal aging.
Results from a 2012 NCCIH-funded study suggest that meditation can affect activity in the amygdala (a part of the brain involved in processing emotions), and that different types of meditation can affect the amygdala differently even when the person is not meditating.
An article in Psychology Today lists 20 Scientific Reasons to start Meditating that include:
- Enhanced immunity
- Decreased cellular inflammation & pain
- Decreased depression & anxiety
- Increased sense of connection to self & others
- Improved emotional regulation
- Increased ability to focus & multitask
- Heightened creativity
- Greater sense of compassion