The idea of meditation has been around us for centuries. Meditation is at the root of several cultures around the world. Yet, a lot of meditation basics are still unclear to most people. In the last few decades, more and more studies are being done on meditation and its benefits to the human body. A lot has been said about a meditation in recent years and these studies are bringing forward some mind-blowing facts about meditation.
While meditation has its roots in Buddhism, this article does not just cover Buddhist meditation facts but addresses meditation and its benefits from the perspective of non-secular mindfulness practice. Keep reading for some amazing facts about meditation.
Meditation sharpens your attention and memory
One of the most fun facts about meditation is that it sharpens our attention and memory. With mindfulness practices such as meditation, we train our minds in remaining aware of the present moment in a completely non-judgmental manner. With regular practice, it becomes less and less likely to be swayed away by distractions. Researches have found that mindfulness meditation reduces mind-wandering and improves our ability to concentrate over time. Mindfulness meditation has also been used by people in various parts of the world in improving memory. Various studies have proved that people who practice meditation regularly measured for increased grey matter in the hippocampus which is the part of the brain that plays a significant role in learning and memory.
Long-term, consistent meditation increases resilience to stress and anxiety
This is amongst the most known meditation science facts. It is important to note that we are not stating meditation to be necessarily reducing physiological and psychological reactions to threats, obstacles, and situations. But studies suggest that meditation helps and supports the mind and body in bouncing back from stress and stressful situations. Practicing meditation decreases the inflammatory response in people exposed to psychological stressors, especially in long-term, consistent meditators. Research into scientific facts about meditation states that mindfulness and meditation practices dampen the activity in the amygdala and increase the connections between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. These parts of the brain help one in being less reactive to stressors and in recovering better from the stress we experience. By practicing to focus on moment-by-moment experiences, meditation helps in training the mind to remain calm, even in stressful situations. This also reduces the experience of anxiety due to uncertainty about the future by quieting down activity in the parts of our brains that ruminate over thoughts, feelings, and experiences when not busy with focused activity.
Meditation makes you happier
A major fact among meditation facts and benefits is how meditation helps in making us happier and lead happier lives. The practice of meditation is known to enhance constructive, happier, and positive thoughts and emotions in people. It has also been known to have a positive impact on relationships and can also aid in relationship healing. Extensive scientific researches conducted on a group of Buddhist monks when they were meditating found their pre-frontal cortex to be extra alive. Meditation- stress reduction and anxiety effects also help in leading a happier life focused on the present moment.
Meditation helps in better sleep
One of the interesting facts about meditation is how it may help you get better sleep. As a relaxation technique, meditation has the power to quiet the mind and body while enhancing inner peace. Advanced meditation may help in reducing sleep troubles and insomnia by promoting overall calmness. According to the researchers, meditation improves your relaxation response. It may also improve the control of the autonomic nervous system, which reduces how easily a person is awakened. Medication may also work on increasing melatonin, serotonin, reducing heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, and activating the parts of the brain that controls sleep.
Meditation makes you more compassionate and kinder
Widespread facts about meditation suggest that meditation increases the feeling of social connectedness towards others in a person and improves the level of love and kindness. Studies state that along with the reduction of stress and anxiety, meditation also encourages feelings of love and kindness in the brain and an attitude of compassion towards suffering. It also increases the willingness of a person to take action to relieve suffering. Researches say meditation makes our compassion more effective by reducing amygdala activity in the presence of suffering while activating brain circuits that are connected with love and good feelings.
Routine meditation can make decision-making easier
Consistent meditation can be a very helpful tool for people who find it difficult to make decisions. According to studies, people who meditate routinely have larger amounts of gyrification, which is a folding of the brain’s cortex, than the average brain. An increased gyrification means additional surface area if the brain, which may enhance neural processing or decision making. While more studies are needed on this, research has implied that meditation can help in improvements in the way the brain performs a series of tasks.
Meditation can help in overcoming addictions
A large number of studies have been conducted over the years on meditation. A lot of these studies have found that meditation can play an important role in encouraging people to quit their unhealthy addictions. It helps in discovering and working with the emotional cause behind the addiction, be it fear, anxiety, depression, or pessimism. Mindful practices such as meditation help us in developing the clarity to see what we’re attached to so we can work on letting it go and put an end to our suffering.
Meditation can keep us from aging
Meditation is also believed to slow down the aging process. Meditation practitioners in Eastern cultures have believed for centuries that regular meditation can help in keeping you younger. One of the main reasons behind the slowing down of the aging process is how meditation reduces stress. Traumatic and stressful periods increase our aging process. With its stress response, meditation supports us in dealing with these stressful situations with a positive outlook. Some researchers have found that meditation increases telomerase activity. Telomeres are the protective ‘caps’ located at the end of chromosomes which are the key to anti-aging science according to researchers. With longer telomeres, a person is likely to live longer. Studies have found that meditation accelerated the production of telomerase which is an enzyme that helps to build telomeres.
These meditation fun facts reflect how powerful a tool can meditation be in bringing about a positive change in a person’s health and life. Inculcating meditation in our daily routine is not easy for everyone. It is vital to note that when it comes to meditation, consistent meditation is more important than meditating for long periods. Most people give up on meditation because of the idea that lengthy meditation is needed to see notable results.
Doing 5 min meditation exercises daily is a great way to start. When done regularly, even such short meditations can yield more effective results in a person’s overall well-being than inconsistent longer periods of meditation.
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