Meditation has been used for centuries as a universal way to lower levels of anxiety, improve quality of life and tap into the all important benefits of mindfulness. We are all well aware of the various benefits of meditation on your overall wellbeing and positivity, but the physiological benefits have not always been clear.
Why exactly did meditation work so well to calm our nerves and make us feel at ease? How could slow breathing and mindfulness do so much to change our outlook?
Those questions are ones that researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital wanted to know the answers to as well. “We found several brain regions that had changed,” Sara Lazar, an associate research scientist told Mic.
The changes that scientists first noticed were visible in the posterior cingulate cortex, the area responsible for one’s ability to focus on a task, as well as, the left hippocampus which aids in learning, cognition and memory. The parietal junction, which manages empathy and compassion also showed visible signs of change.
By studying brain scans of people who meditated frequently, it was revealed that they contained more grey matter than people who did not meditate. This increase in grey matter is usually attributed to heightened abilities in various skills. For example, Musicians “have more grey matter in music areas than non-musicians” explained Lazar.
Therefore the study concluded that if areas of the brain were touched by the benefits of meditation – skills in these areas would grow. So in part, meditation is like a super booster for your skills, it improves their functionality and makes them stronger.
Research also found that the scans revealed a decrease in the section of the brain known as the amygdala, which is most closely associated with fear and aggression.
Education and skill-building has therefore never been so easy. With meditation free and available to anyone and everyone, wherever they are, there is no excuse not to make full use of this incredible health tool at your disposal.
Click here to find out How To Choose The Right Meditation Style For You.