what does meditation do

What Meditation Does

Meditation can help to reduce stress, stress builds up as a chemical called cortisol this is secreted by the adrenal gland, it is helpful when dealing with stressful situations, but it can collect and cause problems. So it is a good idea to reduce the levels and studies prove that a way of doing this is via meditation and mindfulness. It can be beneficial in the reduction of stress-related conditions, which include migraines, fibromyalgia, IBS, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

This, in turn, has the wonderful effect of helping meditators have less anxiety, and improve feelings of well-being, reduces negative thoughts that lead to depression so improving mood.

Meditation also improves self-awareness and lengthens attention spans and in turn memory Generate kindness, reduces age-related memory loss, and helps control pain.

What Meditation Does to the Brain

It seems that meditation is an overall term, such as exercise, because there are several different ways to do it, each training the mind in a special way. Mindfulness meditation is most common and practiced in the westernized world, but there are also zazen, Mahamudra, Vedic, and loving-kindness, visualization practices, Dzogchen, mantra practices, and oh so many others. Just as different types of exercise work different muscles and reactions in the body so does meditation to the brain.

Research has shown that there are several ways that meditation can change the brain’s structure and function:

  • Extends the prefrontal cortex. This region of the brain is used for rational decision-making. 
  • Lessens the amygdala size. The amygdala is known mainly as the fear center of the brain.  Amygdalae of smaller size was found to be present in mindful people who meditate. 
  • Hippocampus deepening. The hippocampus associate with learning memory and spatial awareness, with some weeks of mindfulness meditation practice, increases the size of this brain area.
  • More brain cells. Cell bodies important for processing and associated with intelligence, apparently expand with meditation training.
  • Elevate upper magnitude brainwave activity.  These gamma waves correlate with states of bliss and awareness. Meditators who have practiced for years generally show they have a lot of gamma wave movement both in and after meditation.

Note that it can take years to produce permanent alteration to the brain, however with continued meditative practices changes can happen in a month or two. Incredibly the brain quickly adapts when you use it in meditative ways, ergo repeatedly putting your attention in certain ways, a meditator can build an improved brain little by little.

The consensus now among neuroscientists is that the brain keeps evolving in adulthood, that we continue to shape our brains our entire lives. Recent findings demonstrating the brain’s incredible neuroplastic capacity demonstrating fully mental fitness. It means each of us can train the mind as a muscle through meditative practices.

credit to healthline .com

Author: kindjo

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