If your new to meditation you might be a little skeptical about all these supposed benefits for your mind, your thinking, energy levels, relieving stress, the list goes on, and on. But is it as beneficial for you as the seasoned meditators claim? Luckily, a lot of research has been done into mediation and what happens to our mind when we make time to go inward. So today we are taking a look at how meditation truly affects your brain.
1. Your brain literally calms itself.
While you meditate your brain makes more GABA, a neurotransmitter associated with stress and anxiety. GABA is actually what makes drugs like Valium work by prompting an increase in the levels of the neurotransmitter. Additionally, while meditating your amygdala, a part of the brain associated with fear and emotion shrinks.
2. Your brain rewires itself.
Studies have shown that those who practice meditation regularly experience increased connectivity between certain regions of the brain, particularly those associated with their attention span and distraction. This makes sense as a fundamental principle of meditation is focus. Another study has shown that mediators had more fold in the outer layers of their brain, which boosts how well the brain processes information.
3. Meditation protects your brain from aging
The frontal cortex shrinks as we age, but in a 2005 study it was found that regular mediation may offset cortical thinning as we age.
4. Your brain’s pleasure centres go off
When you meditate dopamine production goes through the roof. Dopamine is the reward chemical associated with all things pleasurable such as food and sex.
So, the science and research seem to agree that meditation is your brain’s best friend.