BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

 BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

Thousands of research have been performed on meditation over the last 50 years. Today, we'll look at the top six advantages of developing a meditation habit for yourself.

The first advantage is that it alters your brain chemically. A 2011 Harvard study led by a Dr. Sarah Lazar discovered that meditating for just eight weeks raises brain size in three main regions. The left hippocampus is in charge of thought and memory, the posterior cingulate is in charge of monitoring where the mind wanders, and the temporal parental junction is in charge of empathy and sympathy. Meditation creates more than just the beneficial qualities of the brain. The same study discovered that after eight weeks of meditation, cell volume in the amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for terror, anxiety, and tension, decreased.


The second advantage of the therapy is that it helps to alleviate negative emotions. To build on the previous argument, there has been a slew of research exploring the impact of meditation on emotions like stress, depression, and anxiety. Now, stress isn't necessarily bad for you; in fact, a slight amount of stress can be helpful. However, often people are overly nervous, which can lead to severe health issues. According to a 2004 report, meditation can help you better relieve stress while still reducing the negative side effects. Professor Willem Kuyken's new research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, focused on people who suffer from depression. Kuyken discovered that mindfulness therapy benefited patients almost as often as widely used prescription medications and that people who participated in the research had a 31% lower risk of relapsing. In 2014, a related review led by Dr. Elizabeth Hoge focused on adults who had been diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder. She discovered that only eight weeks of meditation reduced depressive symptoms significantly. If all of these findings aren't enough to persuade you that meditation helps you sleep better, John Hopkins researchers released a paper in JAMA Internal Medicine reviewing over 19,000 meditation studies. And they discovered that meditation can help with depression and anxiety.


The third advantage of meditation is that it aids in the breakup of unhealthy habits. Willpower is regulated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain. Meditation, according to a 2015 report promotes development in this region of the brain. Dr. Sarah Bowen completed a survey in 2014 that divided a diverse population of alcoholics into two smaller categories. Just 8% of participants in the mindfulness meditation program indicated relapsing a year later, according to the researchers. In comparison, only 20% of 12-step treatment members registered to relapse a year later.


Meditation's fourth advantage is that it improves the ability to relax and reflect. Dr. Catherine MacLean of the University of California Davis performed a study in 2010 that made participants perform incredibly repetitive activities like searching for minor variations in lines. She noticed that the community that practiced meditation during the study performed slightly better. It's been proposed that meditation enhances focus. Another research led by Dr. Levy at the University of Washington showed that meditation improved employees' ability to focus on a single job over prolonged periods of time.


The fifth advantage of meditation is that it is highly beneficial to one's fitness. Meditation lowered the level of c-reactive protein in the blood, which is related to the progression of heart disease, according to a study performed on older adults at the University of California, Los Angeles. Inflammation levels in the body were observed to be lower in this research. Another research looked at a population of hypertension patients at Boston's Benson Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine. The patients' blood pressure was found to be significantly lower after only three months of yoga activity. The most astounding of all was a thesis published by Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn in 2010. She discovered that meditation has an effect on the body as well as your genes. Meditation was discovered to protect the length of your telomeres. Short telomeres are a proxy for premature ageing, for those of you who don't know what they are. This is confirmation that meditation will help to slow down the aging process.


Finally, but certainly not least, sleep has the effect of making you happy. Dr. Richard Davidson performed a famous thesis in 2004 in which he put electrodes on the heads of monks who had been practicing meditation for years. The monks had 30 times the average amount of gamma waves in their brains, which are linked to wisdom, kindness, self-control, and feelings of pleasure. Professor Barbara Fredrickson's research, published in the journal of personality and social psychology in 2008, reported that the findings indicate that everyday meditation practice produces optimistic feelings that arise over time when you practice it.
It's no wonder, then, that some of the world's biggest stars, including CEOs, sports teams, and executives, have all hopped on the meditation bandwagon. There are a plethora of advantages.


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