There's no denying the many spiritual benefits meditation offers. This sacred practice is steeped in centuries of tradition, and you can feel that every time you sit down for a meditation session. At the same time, meditation can also provide some serious medical benefits. Whether you're looking for a brain boost or to relieve stress, regularly meditating can go a long way.
Meditation Regulates the Release of Stress Hormones
Think meditation and neuroscience don't mix? Think again! Mindfulness meditation has been shown to lower the cortisol levels in the blood.
Cortisol is the main stress hormone in the body. It acts a lot like a built-in alarm system, working with parts of your brain to control things like motivation, mood, and fear. Great when you're in actual danger, not so great when your mind manufactures stress at every turn. By lowering the blood's cortisol levels, meditation can lower stress and even decrease the risk of stress-related illnesses.
Meditation Structures and Strengthens Neural Connections
Meditation may literally change the physical structure of your brain. Some research has found long-term meditators had more folds in their brain's outer layers, which may improve the brain's processing ability. Other studies have found meditation to decrease the volume in the amygdala, the part of the brain that forms responses to anxiety, fear, and stress.
At the same time, this research observed increased thickness of the cortical cortex of the hippocampus, responsible for memory and learning, and areas that deal with emotional regulation. It's no wonder, then, that meditation makes you feel better. Speaking with a Psychic Advisor can help you find meaningful ways to add meditation to your routine.
Meditation Improves Cognitive Function and Test Scores
Listen, in the bustle of life these days, everyone struggles keeping focus every now and then (Okay, maybe more than just now and then!). Meditation can help you find clarity. Mindfulness meditation can keep your mind from wandering, and research has even found the practice to improve cognitive function as seen in improved test scores on standardized tests like the GRE.
Meditation may keep the default mode network (DMN), the part of your brain engaged when you're not focusing on the outside world, more or less deactivated. So, if you're hitting the books or just want to improve your focus for everyday tasks, meditating can rein in those distracted thoughts.
Meditation Slows the Brain's Aging Process
Looking for one more medical benefit to convince you to take up meditation? How's this: Some research even shows that meditation may protect the brain against aging.
Studies have found that folks who meditate have less age-related atrophy in the white matter of their brains, and meditation can help preserve gray matter as well. Though the research is new, promising results hint at one more possible protective benefit meditation can have on the brain.
If you're struggling to find ways to make meditation a regular practice, it may be time to get a Psychic Reading. A PathForward Psychic can help you find a personalized way to make meaningful meditation a part of your daily ritual.