The Scientific Benefits of Meditation: What The Research Is Telling Us - Top 10 Listverse Car Review UFO Alien
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The Scientific Benefits of Meditation: What The Research Is Telling Us

A large amount of scientific evidence now exists not simply suggesting, but proving that our mind can play a very important role when it comes to healing our body. There are now hundreds of peer-reviewed publications mind-centred treatments have had statistically significant results that were as strong as, or stronger than, material-based treatments. The Placebo Effect is an excellent example, but there are many others emerging, especially within the realms of parapsychology and quantum physics that clearly show that, in some way, our thoughts, feelings, emotions and intentions actually have an observable effect on the material world. These are the realms of non-material science which, in my opinion, represent the next scientific revolution. As Nikola Tesla once said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

Well, things are finally changing. Not only do we have deep black budget special access programs dealing with this type of non-material science (quantum physics and parapsychology), as mentioned above, we also have a lot of mainstream mind-centred therapies that people are becoming aware of and incorporating into their daily routine. Meditation is one of these.

Rebuilding Grey Matter

Over the past few years alone, researchers have studied what type of effect meditation can have on our health, not just from a well-being perspective but from a perspective of healing specific ailments, and observing what type of biological changes occur in the human body as a result of meditation.

For example, an eight-week study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hosptial (MGH) determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes over time in the brain’s grey matter. (source)

Grey matter density was shown to have increased in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.

Harvard researchers also released a study showing that meditation can have a significant impact on clinical symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study showed that elicitation of the relaxation response (a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress) is a very big help. You can read more about and access both of those studies here.

Meditation Gaining Popularity

The science is one reason why the popularity of meditation continues to increase. It’s a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, increase concentration, and just improve overall health. In a statement given to NewsweekSik Hin Hung, Director of the Centre for Buddhist Studies and the lead researcher of the paper, explains:

“We talk about whether your mind and body are in harmony, but there is no systematic way of measuring this…We now can say with some kind of certainty that when you’re practicing MBSR (mind body stress reduction), your heart and your mind become more synchronized and that’s very good for you.”

Large companies like Google, Salesforce, Aetna, Goldman Sachs Group, Blackrock and more are all now offering mindfulness training for their employees to improve various skills and to decrease healthcare costs.

An Overview Of Meditation

In this article, Olga Pauka notes that “Many studies have looked at how meditation may be helpful for a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, psychological disorders and pain…A number of studies have even helped researchers learn how meditation might work in relation to its effects on the brain. Some research suggests that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.” She summarized the benefits of meditation in the article as follows:

1.Physical Benefits of Meditation

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Has an anti-inflammatory effect
  • Strengthens the Immune System
  • Helps in the digestion of food
  • Eases premenstrual and menopausal symptoms

2. Psychological Benefits of Meditation

  • Helps you sleep better
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Regulates mood disorders
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Can help treat addiction
  • Increases self-awareness
  • Helps reduce anger

3. Cognitive Benefits of Meditation

  • Improves working memory
  • Increases focus
  • Increases stress resistance
  • Improves the ability to make decisions
  • Improves memory

4. Social Benefits of Meditation

  • Decreases feelings of loneliness
  • Helps you to be more compassionate
  • Helps create positive relationships

How To Meditate

Olga goes on to state that meditating daily is easier said than done. However, as little as one minute a day is highly beneficial. To give yourself a head start, she recommends following this pattern:

  • Breathe in for five seconds
  • Hold your breath for five seconds
  • Breathe out for five seconds
  • Continue moving through this practice for a full minute

It may be very beneficial to sit down and do meditation in a particular way; but I also believe there is a common misconception about meditation, that it has to be done a certain way. If you place yourself in a position that is most comfortable to you, that’s probably the best start. The last thing you want to do is be uncomfortable. I don’t believe you have to sit in a specific posture.

Secondly, you don’t really have to “try” to empty your mind. A lot of researchers will tell their subjects to engage in what’s known as non-judgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind. When you’re meditating, instead of trying to empty your mind, just let your thoughts, feelings, and whatever emotions you are feeling at the time flow. Don’t judge your thoughts, let them come and go and be at peace with what is there.

You can also use meditation and intention synchronistically;  if you have a certain intention, you can focus your mind on that.

I also believe that meditation is a state of being/mind more than anything else. I feel that one does not have to sit down for half an hour and “meditate” so to speak in order to reap the benefits of it, or to be engaged in the practice itself.  One can be engaged in meditation while they are on a walk, for example, or the time they have right before they sleep. Throughout the day, one can resist judging their thoughts, letting them flow until they are no more, or just be in a constant state of peace and self-awareness. Contrary to popular belief, there is more than one way to meditate.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is really just to realize how beneficial meditation can be for your mind, body and soul, and that the science emerging in support of it is quite strong. It’s also valuable to recognize the wisdom of those who roamed the planet before we did and to acknowledge the tremendous amount of wisdom many ancient cultures had, not only about the mind-body connection but other disciplines as well, like quantum physics, neuroscience, parapsychology, etc.

Medications for certain ailments can be helpful, but they only treat symptoms and do not address the root cause. Meditation is one way to look deeper within yourself to really address the core problems underneath some of your physical ailments, which can results from emotional ailments and energy blockages.



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About Mysterious Everythings

Le Minh Hieu is a national-level weightlifter and a Singapore Weightlifting sports performance coach. Hieu's biggest passion is helping everyone find confidence, happiness, and health through fitness.