Almost all cultures on the planet have practiced some form of meditation for thousands of years and this spans way before any scientists got involved in proving the validity of meditation and the benefits it provides – but here’s the most up to date evidence that scientists can prove when it comes to meditation.
Firstly, let’s look at overall health and how meditation affects it – and this is by far one of the most impressive benefits that have been researched and proven by scientists. New studies suggest that meditation regularly slows ageing and prevents disease. In a review article published in Frontiers in Immunology has explored what we know when it comes to how meditation can actually affect genetic makeup – I’m not kidding – the rabbit hole genuinely goes this deep – this is the real science of meditation.
Researchers looked at a plethora of past studies on how mind body interventions (such as meditation of course, or mindfulness, breath regulation etc) affected stress responses at a molecular level. What they discovered is that meditation actually commonly countered the effects of stress which meant that illnesses related to stress (and general ageing) were reduced – incredible, huh?
Aside from the health aspect though, many seek meditation as a spiritual outlet. Shutting off your senses from the onslaught of information our lives are fed on a day to day basis can help you reconnect with yourself and this can be beneficial on an incredible amount of levels. When you ‘disconnect’ you’re in touch with your own mind – that is meditation – the process of bringing yourself closer to your inner self (arguably your most important self).
When you fundamentally shut yourself off from receiving negative information (and internalising it) your heartbeat, blood pressure, everything starts to calm down – naturally this has astronomical health benefits – all proven, by science.
Meditation Makes you smarter, scientifically
In a June issue of the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement the entire publication was centres to mental benefits of mediation and mindfulness. If you’re particularly interested in how meditation affects the way your brain works, then this will literally blow your mind (excuse the pun).
The article includes studies about how meditation can drastically increase your ability to sequence learn, facilitate earlier development of emotional self-regulation in children, reduce fatigue and sleepiness and dramatically improve focus.
I know, this can all be a lot to take in – and this can make anyone question the reason as to why meditation can accomplish so much for our cognitive eco-system – but this is actually in fact pretty simple.
The mind on a daily basis receives a tonne of data – every second of every minute, more information is pumped through our minds. Meditation allows the brain to become more connected with your own personal senses because the outward awareness is present but in a far more gentle way than it’s used too – without over-processing things.
Essentially, meditation and mindfulness bring harmony and balance between your soul, mind, brain, breath and your physical body. It then starts to make sense that, when your brain is in a harmonious place, your day-to-day tasks, decision-making skills and most importantly, your ability to learn new things will inevitably become easier.
Take the time out, meditate and start enjoying the benefits that it can bring to your own personal life, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.