Monday, November 10, 2014

Top 4 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Meditation

“How do you do so much?” a colleague once asked me in my graduate school days, after I explained to her all the projects I’d been working on. In those days, I did a lot. I apprenticed for a newspaper, was a full-time student and part-time teaching assistant. I barely had time for a social life.

How did I do so much? The key was in stress management. My stress management was meditation. I often meditated in-between classes and at night. It was easy. And, it didn’t cost a penny.

I would often turn on a meditation radio station on Pandora and sit in a comfortable position. I focused on my breathing. I slowed down my mind, until my brain was like a serene lake reflecting stillness.


I mean, I didn’t become a meditation guru by any means. I’m what you’d call a “heady” person, as many people have told me that I “think too much.”

Therefor, I am also the type of person who appreciates scientific support, like recent studies or research conducted supporting the benefits of meditation. Here is some research on meditation that I found fascinating.

Four Positive Physiological Affects of Meditation

1. Meditation Speeds Up Brain Processing Potential

According to a research journal article published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in February 2012, meditation can alter the geometry of the brain’s surface.

There was a study done at the University of California in Los Angeles involving 50 meditators and 50 controls that addressed a possible link between meditation and cortical gyrification, the pattern and degree of cortical folding that allows the brain to process faster.

This study showed a positive correlation between the amount of gyrification in parts of the brain and the number of years of meditation for people, especially long-term meditators, compared to non-meditators.

This increased gyrification may reflect an integration of cognitive processes when meditating, since meditators are known to be introspective and contemplative, using certain portions of the brain in the process of meditation. Despite articles written from this journal article, more research is still necessary to determining more in depth on this specific link.

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