JUN 24, 2017 05:48 PM PDT

The Science of Meditation


Ommmmm........ommm.....ommmm....Am I relaxed yet? Remember to put green beans on the grocery list. Oh, and pick up the dry cleaning. Stop thinking thoughts! Focus on your breathing. Ommm....is this even working?

As hard as it can be to calm your mind during meditation, even Western science recognizes the benefits that it has for your body and general health. Brain scans have shown that when meditating there is increased activity in regions of the brain related with decreased anxiety and depression, along with increased pain tolerance, memory, self-awareness, and goal-setting. Experienced meditators have also been seen to exhibit different brain waves, with higher levels of alpha waves that are known to be responsible for decreasing feelings of negative mood, tension, sadness, and anger. Furthermore, meditating can even change the size and shape of your brain! People tested after an 8 week meditation program were seen to have increased gray matter in their brains in regions relating to learning, memory, and emotion, while the amygdala, which deals with fear, stress, and blood pressure, had decreased in gray matter.

Meditating can even go so far as to increase your immune system, allowing you to fight back faster and more efficiently against viruses by producing more antibodies. There is even evidence that meditating can lengthen telomeres in your cells, the shortening of which is responsible for some cardiovascular diseases and cancers! So what's the take away from this? Keep breathing and find your om!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
SEP 21, 2018
Videos
SEP 21, 2018
How Artificial Sweeteners Impact the Body
Sugar alternatives may be low in calories, but they are probably not without consequence....
OCT 08, 2018
Technology
OCT 08, 2018
The SolarFlower is a Promising New Take on Solar Energy
Solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source with promising applications in the near future as solar panel technology matures. SmartFlower is an int...
OCT 10, 2018
Videos
OCT 10, 2018
It Matters How Young You Start Using Cannabis
If the brain's endocannabinoid system is constantly disrupted with cannabis while developing it can affect mood, motivation, learning and how memo...
OCT 11, 2018
Videos
OCT 11, 2018
An Inexpensive Kit Teaches Kids About Molecular Biology
Biology is advancing at a rapid pace. Students will be ready for those advances if they can learn about cutting-edge concepts at an early age....
OCT 14, 2018
Videos
OCT 14, 2018
Counteracting Plastic Straws by Using Plant Fibers
According to the United Nations, ocean plastics kill an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually—and straws are much to blame. Already, the state of...
OCT 18, 2018
Videos
OCT 18, 2018
Tips on Bringing Stem Cells out of Deep Freeze
Once a subject of intense debate, stem cells have made their way into the research laboratory....
Loading Comments...