Here’s How Meditation Reduces Stress & Improve Brain Function
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and relax your body. This stress relieving property of meditation positively affects the brain’s cognitive function. Studies have shown that meditation is associated with decreased stress, depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia and improves the overall quality of life.
Meditation is surely a great way to keep your mind clear and calm. Moreover, people who meditate believe that meditation has a stress relieving properties and it also positively impacts our brain’s ability.
However, science hasn’t yet connected the dots between what happens in the meditating brain and the immune system. But a University of Wisconsin study saw increased electrical activity in regions of the left frontal lobe, an area that tends to be more active in optimistic people, after eight weeks of training in meditation.
Sara Lazar, one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness upon brain, found that meditating can literally change your brain.
She explains that meditation had been associated with decreased stress, decreased depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia, and an increased quality of life for a long time.
While continuing her research, she found differences in the brain volume after eight weeks in five different regions in the brains between the two groups. In the group that learned meditation, the brain thickened in four regions.
– The primary difference, we found in the posterior cingulate, which is involved in mind wandering, and self-relevance. – The left hippocampus, which assists in learning, cognition, memory and emotional regulation. – The temporo parietal junction, or TPJ, which is associated with perspective taking, empathy and compassion. – An area of the brain stem called the Pons, where a lot of regulatory neurotransmitters are produced.
The amygdala, the fight or flight part of the brain which is important for anxiety, fear and stress in general, got smaller in the group that went through the mindfulness-based stress reduction program. The change in the amygdala was also correlated to a reduction in stress levels.
Her research clearly proves the positive effect of meditation on human brain of which stress reduction and improvement of brain functions are two important ones.