The brain changes throughout life, however it is not known how this occurs. According to Ramon Rojano, psychiatrist and psychologist, who worked for more than 25 years in New Jersey in the intervention, difficulties of socialization, therapy, mindfulness-based brain changes produced by introspection, reflection and meditation.
Below are some of the most interesting studies which have emerged in recent years to show that meditation actually produces significant changes in the brain.
1. Helps to keep the brain young
As you age, meditators, long-term have brains better preserved than the non-meditators, according to a study from Ucla. The participants who had meditated for an average of 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout the brain than non-meditators.
2. Improves depression and anxiety
A review study conducted at the Johns Hopkins hospital in the united States, examined the relationship between mindfulness meditation and its ability to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain. The researcher Madhav Goyal and his team found that the size of the effect of the meditation was of 0.3. Although it seems low, that is the same effect that you have antidepressants.
3. Modifies specific parts of the brain
Researchers from the University of Harvard discovered that eight weeks of stress reduction based on mindfulness (MBSR for its acronym in English) increased cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs learning and memory, And in certain areas of the brain that play roles in the regulation of emotion and in self-referential processing. There were also decreases in the volume of brain cells in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety and stress.
4. With a little practice improves concentration
Since the center of the meditation is the attention, this part is not surprising. Science, however, confirms that only a couple of weeks of training in meditation helped people to focus and memorize for a test of reading comprehension american.
5. Significantly reduces the anxiety
A subgenre of meditation is the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, of the University of Massachusetts. Studies have shown benefits in the reduction of anxiety, even years after an initial course of eight weeks. However, the brain mechanisms involved in relieving anxiety associated with meditation are largely unknown.
6. Can help with addictions
Given its effects in the regions of the self-control of the brain, meditation can be very effective to help people recover from various types of addiction. For example, the training of mindfulness of the program of the American Lung Association’s (FFS) found that people who learned the mental attention, they were many times more likely to quit smoking at the end of the training of 17 weeks.
7. You can also help children
A San Francisco school in the united States started a program of meditation twice a day in some of their high risk schools and saw to decrease suspensions. The studies have confirmed the cognitive benefits and emotional for the children also.