Δευτέρα, 24 Νοεμβρίου 2014

4 OF THE BEST SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN BENEFITS OF MEDITATION


Meditation: Nature’s Secret Weapon

Meditation is not as complicated as it is sometimes made out to be.  There are hundreds of different techniques you could use, but it all really comes down to two simple words: stress management.
Less thought, more stillness.  Yes thoughts may still arise during meditation, but they don’t have to occupy your entire consciousness.  One of the most remarkable aspects of meditation is the amazing scientifically proven benefits that come with practicing meditation.  Meditation is like steroids for your immune system.
Here are 4 of the best scientifically proven benefits of meditation.

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 and act more efficiently.  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.  Essentially, meditation improves the ability of your brain to function and process information.

2. Meditation Loosens Our Neural Pathways

Rebecca Gladding, M.D. explains in an article published in May 2013 Psychology Todayhow the brain functions better with meditation.  The longer you meditate, the more neurological benefits there are.  The brain can essentially be molded by meditation.  Specifically, the connection to our fear center and our “Me” Center (place where the brain constantly reflects back to you) dissolves following regular meditation.
This loosening up lessens our feelings of anxiety, because the neural pathways linking our Me-Center to our fear decreases.  Social anxiety literally goes away due to the alteration of this center in our brain responsible for the connection of fear to our sense of self.   The alteration of these neural pathways also come with improved assessment and empathetic responses. The important thing that Gladding also mentions is that to maintain the benefits of meditation, you must keep meditating because “the brain can very easily revert back to its old ways if you are not vigilant.”  Make it a habit!

3. Meditation Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

A large cardiovascular study was done and published in November 2012, in the journalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
In the study, 201 people with coronary heart disease were given 2 choices.  They could either take a health education class promoting improved diet and exercise, or take a class on transcendental meditation. Researchers studied these participants for five years and discovered something interesting. Those that chose the meditation class had 48% reduction to the overall risk of heart attack, stroke and death. This was an initial study and again needs more research.  It literally cut their risk of dying from some of the most fatal diseases in half in just a few weeks.

4. Meditation Can Improve Memory Recall

New research on meditation shows that meditation can improve your ability to recall memories.   Catherine Kerr is a researcher at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Osher Research Center. She has found that those that practice meditation could adjust their brains waves better, and thereby increase their concentration levels. They could screen out distractions and increase productivity faster than those that did not meditate. Less distractions gives room for the brain to integrate new information. This slight change in brain adjustment can dramatically aid in memory recall.
Kerr explained more in an article called, Meditation’s Effects on Emotion Shown to Persist,published in June 2013 at psychcentral.com.  ”Mindfulness meditation has been reported to enhance numerous mental abilities, including rapid memory recall,” Kerr said. “Our discovery that mindfulness meditators more quickly adjusted the brain wave that screens out distraction could explain their superior ability to rapidly remember and incorporate new facts.”
Improved brain functioning, loosened neural pathways, improved heart health and enhanced memory are just some of the chances you will see in your life with meditation.  The list of meditation benefits is literally endless, but there are just some of the reasons why meditation should be a part of our daily routine.

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