JUN 24, 2017 05:48 PM PDT
The Science of Meditation
1 11 340

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 currently lives in Colombia.
You May Also Like
MAY 08, 2018
Videos
MAY 08, 2018
Virtual Reality Theme Park Opens in China
China's first virtual reality theme park, called Oriental Science Fiction Valley, opened at the end of April 2018. It has a sci-fi focus and offers guests
MAY 15, 2018
Videos
MAY 15, 2018
A Robotic Hand Helps Rehab Patients
When patients have to rehab after surgery, illness or strokes, physical therapy and the accompanying exercises can be a drag. Robotics can help patients re
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
What to Do if Bitten by a Snake
Snake bites can be scary; not just because they're painful, but also because it can be tough to discern whether the attacking snake is venomous or not. Nev
JUN 08, 2018
Videos
JUN 08, 2018
Video: Paper Made From What?
This eco-friendly paper is sourced from poop.
JUN 09, 2018
Videos
JUN 09, 2018
Infectious Microbes Lurk in Hotel Pools
With thousands sickened, the CDC is concerned about hotel pools, even treated ones.
JUN 15, 2018
Videos
JUN 15, 2018
Is my sweet tooth genetic?
I can’t be the only one with a sometimes-uncontrollable sweet tooth. But what’s the deal – why do I like sweets so much? “Certainly
Loading Comments...