In today’s fast paced world, it seems like everyone is stressed about something. There are so many things competing for our attention throughout the day, especially nowadays with social media and the constant flow of information and notifications all calling out to be noticed. It’s rare to get a moment of stillness in the day, but if you can make meditation a part of your routine, you’ll notice some staggerring benefits. How?
Meditation literally changes your brain. There are certain brain regions that become activated when you’re awake and at a state of rest (ie. your attention isn’t on external stimuli), known collectively as the default mode network. Activating these areas is achieved through meditation, and it’s associated with a range of positive effects. It slows the speed of your brain down to a state where it produces alpha waves, generating wakeful relaxation with a reduction of negative emotions like anxiety and tension. By fostering shifts in perspective and greater self awareness, mindfulness leads to positive mental health beyond simply helping to reduce stress.
Learning and memory processing receive a big boost from meditation, and it takes only weeks for these changes to set in. People who regularly stimulate their brain’s default mode network have increased grey matter on the left side of the brain, which is responsible for complex thought and problem solving. This was reflected in participants of one particular study; after completing an 8-week meditation program, the grey matter density in these areas of the brain increased, along with an improvement in their memory processing abilities!
In Buddhism, there is no separation between mind and body – they are interconnected as one. The benefits of meditation certainly reflect this; mindfulness training has been linked to lowered blood pressure. This is great for your heart, as it can better regulate blood flow depending on how much oxygen you need at the time. Meditation has also shown the potential to reduce the levels of stress hormones that can lead to inflammation, among a variety of other physical complications.
The benefits are emotional, cognitive and physical…. You can potentially transform your entire wellbeing through meditation! If you do one thing new this week, make it a simple 10 minuts of meditationbefore bed (not very long, so no excuses!). See how you feel 😀