The whirlpool of life drives you into stress, does an avalanche of information lead you into chaos? Are you looking for a “safe haven” and the opportunity to relax? Try practicing meditation. The benefits of meditation for the human body has been proven by scientists. In this article, you will find the answer to the question of why you need to practice meditation regularly and you will find scientifically proven reasons for this.
1. Restores Brain Cells
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Harvard researchers found that meditation affects changes in the gray matter of the brain. The physical changes in the brain that meditation led to were documented. Scientists conducted a test with two control groups. The first group practiced meditation for 27 minutes a day and the second did not listen to the records with meditation.
MRI images of the brain of subjects from both groups were taken before and after an eight-week period. When the test was completed, the participants in the test group who practice meditation reported an improvement in attention, long and short term memory. The performance of the other control group remained unchanged.
2. Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
Scientists examined 201 men and women with coronary heart disease. They were divided into 2 groups according to the program of transcendental meditation and according to the program of health education. After five and a half years, the transcendental meditation group showed a 48% reduction in the risk of heart attacks and infarcts.
3. Reduces Anxiety, Depression, and Pain
During the experiment, the scientists decided to check whether it would be possible to see the conscious attitude of the subjects to pain by the activity of the brain in a certain area. The study participants were burned with a hot metal bar while the tomograph scanned their brain. According to the test subjects, they experienced unpleasant and painful sensations and the tomograph recorded activity in the corresponding area of their brain.
This experiment was repeated after its participants visited 4 sessions of conscious meditation. The brain activity of the subjects in the corresponding area decreased so much that the tomograph did not fix it! But the activity of other parts of the brain responsible for behavioral control and processing of emotions has increased. It is these areas of the brain that modulate feelings of pain and the subjects felt less pain than the first time. Doctors may prescribe it as a chronic back pain treatment.
4. Strengthens the Immune System
Most diseases are born in the mind. This does not mean that the diseases are not real, but only that they can be prevented. Stress, lack of sleep and inability to control emotions affect your body not only on the psychological level but also on the physical. A study at Harvard Medical School showed that practicing yoga and meditation improved energy production in the mitochondria of cells, which improves immunity and stress resistance.
5. Aggravates Tactile Sensations
Researchers presented studies of experienced Zen monks that showed an improved sense of touch. To quantify touch, researchers limited the so-called “two-point discrimination threshold”. This marker indicates how far apart two stimuli must be in order to separate, as two separate sensations. After finger meditation, indicators improved by 17% from the usual.
For comparison, the tactile sensitivity of the visually impaired is 15 to 25% higher than that of people with normal vision because they use the sense of touch so intensively that it replaces visual information. The changes brought by meditation can be compared with intensive long-term learning.