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Meditation and your brain

Meditation helps your brain a lot. It helps you in different ways. It is one of the most popular tools for stress busting.

Meditation is not just a hobby thing anymore; it has become a set of therapies and courses. It makes you aware of the present moment and at the same time helps you to control your mind.

Meditation helps in keeping you healthy

Meditation has also been accepted as a useful therapy for depression and anxiety. It has been used for a long time. Schools, military units, from sports team have been using meditation for enhancing their performance. It has also been helping people suffering from chronic pain, addiction and tinnitus. It has found to be helpful in different medical conditions such as cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and HIV.

Scientific studies

Recently, researchers have found extraordinary effects of meditation on the human brain. Brain imaging techniques have revealed how meditation can profoundly change the activities in your brain and help you to live a healthy and better life.

No fear

MRI scans done on individuals, who underwent eight weeks of meditation practice, found that the “fight or flight” centre of the brain, the amygdala showed signs of shrinking. It is the part of the brain, which is associated with emotion and fear. It is responsible for your body’s response to stress.

When the amygdala shrinks, the prefrontal cortex becomes thicker. This is the part of the brain that is associated with higher brain functions including awareness, decision-making and concentration.

Changes in the brain

It was found that the functional connectivity between different regions of the brain also changes with meditation. The connection between the amygdala and other parts of your brain becomes weaker. At the same time, the connections between areas controlling attention and concentration become stronger.

Number of hours

The changes that happen in your brain are directly co-related to the number of hours of meditation practice you perform. With mindfulness meditation, one type of meditation, you can increase your ability to use your prefrontal cortex region responsible for higher order activities regulate the lower order activities of the brain. It means you’ll be able to offer more thoughtful responses to stress rather than offering primal responses.

Activities that boost the prefrontal cortex

There are several activities that you can take up to increase the size of your prefrontal cortex. Video games can help you to do that. However, the maximum benefit can be achieved from the disconnection of your mind from its “stress center.” If you can do that, you’ll be able to get physical and mental health benefits.

Scientists have found that meditation can help you to reduce the bio markers of stress and inflammation, which include C-reactive proteins, interleukin 6 and cortisol. All of these are associated with different diseases. So with meditation you can reduce the bio markers and thereby help your body to prevent any possible diseases.

Feel reduced pain

Meditators often feel less pain than non-meditators. It was found in scientific studies. It is probably possible because meditation practitioners can remove or reduce the effects of the adverse stimulation. Thereby, they can reduce the stressing nature of it. They do that by changing the connectivity between two regions of the brain. They do not engage in the thought process that makes it more painful when something happens to your body.

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