People have been using mediation for ages due to the emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits that it brings.
Speaking from a scientific point of view, how does meditation affect the human body? The benefits of meditation start inside the brain. Brain scans show us that during meditation activities in areas related to decreased stress and depression and increased pain tolerance, are on the rise.
The default mode network, which consists of brain regions interacting with each other when our minds are at rest, activates during meditation, and this has proved to help improve self-awareness, goal setting, and memory.
According to scientists meditation is also linked to increased levels of empathy in individuals that practice it. Meditation can change one’s brainwaves. People that meditate more often have higher frequencies of Alpha waves, which help us reduce tension, anger, negative feelings, and sadness. This literally can change the size and shape of our brain.
According to studies, after only 8 weeks of regular meditation, the grey matter in one’s brain is denser in areas related to memory processing, learning, and emotion regulation. Also, the part of the brain which is responsible for stress and increased blood pressure, called the amygdala, shows signs of decreased grey matter.
Looking at the entire body of someone who meditates, we will notice a decreased blood pressure and a regulation of their heart rate. The main benefit of this is transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide, in a proper way throughout the body. Another benefit of meditation is related to the production of antibodies when we get sick. Another study showed that people who meditated would recover faster from the flu virus than people who didn’t meditate at all.
The benefits of meditation go as deeper as the cellular level. Our chromosomes contain protective protein webs called telomeres, that reduce damages to our DNA. A shortened telomere length is usually a sign of one of these conditions, starting from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. When cancer patients followed a meditation program, their bodies showed a particular increase in telomere length. According to science, decreasing levels of stress has a direct effect on the length of the telomere.
This is not to say that meditation is a substitute for other medical practices, and we definitely don’t want you to think after watching this video, that you could cure cancer if you only meditate. The same as working out or eating healthy can make you have a fit and strong body, meditation helps you to work out your brain while bringing in other health benefits. Since your brain is responsible for every action in your body, why not try it out?
Have you ever tried meditation or are you thinking of starting it after seeing this video?