Meditation Rocks!

It’s True. New Studies Show Meditation Makes the Brain Younger and Much More ...

New studies show us that meditation reduces stress, relieves depression and anxiety, down modulates pain and helps us sleep better. But there’s more.

By Allyn Evans

Meditation Rocks! Actually it does much, much more. New studies show us that meditation reduces stress, relieves depression and anxiety, down modulates pain and helps us sleep better. But there’s more. Research also supports that people are just happier and more content.

There’s a researcher who has studied this and a newsletter article from Dr. Joe Dispenza reminded me of her. Her name is Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Mass General and Harvard Medical School.

The first study she did evaluated what she labeled as long-time meditators. People who had been meditating for seven to nine years. Here’s what she found when she compared this group to a control group. What she found is most interesting. The long-time meditators had increased gray matter, specifically in the sensory and auditory cortex as well as the frontal cortex, which involves memory and decision making.

Are you a long-term meditator?

If the answer is no and you are already 50 or older, what are the implications for you? Don’t worry! You still got this! Lazar later oversaw another study. This time she worked with non-meditators and had them participate in an eight week meditation practice. Guess what? Thickening occurred in more than one region of the brain, even the region housing learning, memory and emotional regulation as well as the region of the brain that involved empathy. One of the regions actually shrank, but it was a good thing. The amygdala! This is the area of the brain that has to do with stress regulation and our feelings of fear, pain, anxiety and aggression. The participants on average meditated for 27 minutes a day.

The good news is that lots of evidence points to the benefits of meditating. Yes, it seems to make structural changes to the brain that have positive effects. And, it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time to get the pay off. Oh yes, and it’s better to just do it, even if you are limited to ten minutes a day, than to not do it all. Start now!