“Spiritual meditation is the pathway to Divinity. It is a mystic ladder which reaches from earth to heaven, from error to Truth, from pain to peace.” ~ James Allen
The medical, scientific, and academic communities are quite pessimistic, but recent studies are indeed worth considering. To show how meditation has shocked the medical community by its outcomes, take a look at the most prestigious university worldwide, which has an entire research center dedicated to the practice.
Here is what happens to your body when you meditate every day, according to science:
1. Meditation increases resilience to stress
Stress or distress is stimulated by cortisol, a hormone release when the brain identifies something as a stressor. While stress is genetically determined to ensure species survival, large percentage of scientific literature concludes that meditation done on regular basis decreases emotional reactivity.
According to a study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, meditation increases resilience to stress by suppressing the activity of amygdale. Amygdala, is the brain’s emotional center, “responsible for detecting fear and preparing for emergency events.”
2. Meditation enhances our ability to focus and pay attention
Mindful meditation requires attention on an activity or an object, so it is no wonder that it helps improve our ability to focus on everyday events.
Scientific literature demonstrates that regular meditation inhibits the tendency of the brain to function on “autopilot.” Brain scans on people who have been practicing meditation on the long-run show increased activity in the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex (lPFC), which allows us to pay attention as we dismiss non-relevant stimulate actively.
According to Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. and Richard Davidson, say “(meditation) undergirds a huge range of what makes us effective in the real world – everything from learning, to realizing we’ve had a creative insight, to seeing a project through to its end.”
3. Meditation boosts pain tolerance
According to Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., meditators process pain in a different way compared to the rest of us, adding that “Meditators pay more attention to the direct sensation of pain. In laboratory studies that deliver painful stimulation, meditators’ brains show more activity in areas associated with sensory processing … non-meditators (show) more activity in areas associated with evaluation and language.”
4. Meditation decreases anxiety and meditation
It has been scientifically shown that regular meditation helps relieve anxiety and depression symptoms, sometimes even better than prescription drugs designed for this purpose. This research shows that meditation alters the structure and function of certain brain areas, including the ones affected by episodes of anxiety and depression.
In a huge meta-analysis, researchers from John Hopkins University conclude that the key benefit of meditation is anxiety relief. Other studies show that meditation helps with various anxiety and depression conditions, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD)/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), addictions, social anxiety, bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
5. Meditation strengthens the immune system
Chronic stress weakens the immune response and makes the person more prone to disease and sickness. As regular meditation regulates stress response, it is no wonder that it strengthens the immune system. According to a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 8-week meditation training “resulted in a significantly smaller post-stress inflammatory response” in the participants’ brains.