The Relationship Between Meditation and the Brain
What Kind of Knowledge Do Scientists Acquire?
Up until quite recently, scientists considered the brain to be a mass located inside the skull. absolutely nothing more and absolutely nothing less.
It was previously thought that the neurological cards we were dealt at birth would stay with us for the rest of our lives, even when we became adults.
This notion has been debunked by recent discoveries.
The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has allowed neuroscientists to make the following discoveries:
a) humans have a great deal more control over their brains than was previously believed;
b) changes in the brain can be measured; and
c) we can modify our thinking to make our lives better.
The truth is that our brains continue to develop all the way until adulthood. The extraordinary benefit of mindful meditation is that it gives us the ability to exercise control over such shifts.
We have acknowledged the validity of René Descartes’s statement that “I think, therefore I am” for a number of centuries.
This piece of conventional wisdom may now be updated to read “I think, and as a result, I control who I am,” thanks to the advances made in modern science.
The discovery that we may exert control over how our brains function opens the door to a wealth of opportunities with far-reaching implications.
We are observing that as little as thirty minutes of mindful meditation practiced each day may have an impact that can be measured on different regions of the brain. Let’s take a look at the new information that has been uncovered.
Mindful Meditation and the Brain Function
According to the findings of research that was carried out at UCLA, individuals who had practiced mindful meditation for 20 years or more had a bigger quantity of gray matter over the whole of their brains.
The findings of this research have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of age-related disorders, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as the aging process in general.
According to the findings of research conducted at Yale University, practicing mindful meditation may help reduce “brain chattering” or “monkey mind.”
Monkey brain is a term used by Buddhists to refer to the tendency of the human brain to mimic the shrill, incessant screeching of monkeys, particularly when motivated by fear.
Studies like the one done at Yale, as well as others, have shown that mindful meditation may act as a volume control, reducing the amount of mental noise and making space for some mental calm and stillness.
According to research conducted at Johns Hopkins University, mindful meditation has the same impact on the brain as medicine does in terms of its potential to relieve symptoms of sadness and anxiety.
What are the Findings of Additional Research That Were Conducted
Even though practicing mindful meditation may seem like little more than “sitting there,” the practice really has a profoundly restorative impact on the brain.
According to the findings of research conducted at Harvard University, mindful meditation stimulates the growth of brain regions that are important for learning and emotions.
At the same time, it reduces the part of the brain that is responsible for dealing with fear and anxiety. In the same research, it was found that the participants’ sense of terror also varies during the course of the experiment.
In other words, the quantity and degree of fear that we feel may be regulated by the practice of attentive meditation.
Participants’ levels of anxiety were shown to decrease after practicing mindful meditation, according to research conducted at the University of Massachusetts.
At the same time, the amount of dread is decreasing, and the level of awareness is simultaneously increasing, effectively filling up the new space that has become available in the brain.
Ongoing research is being done to investigate the effects that mindful meditation has on the brain.
However, the fact that we can “tone” our brain muscles in the same way that we “tone” our thighs and abs is prompting more people in the scientific world to take an interest in the topic.
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