It’s no secret that meditation is becoming increasingly popular.
In fact, from sporting stars to famous celebrities, it seems like most people in the limelight are claiming to meditate daily.
But now, new research is showing that meditation can actually help all of us ward off the high levels of stress that affect millions daily.
What the research study found
Scientists at Harvard and at the University of Sienna have recently found that meditation can have a much more powerful effect than anticipated. It can actually change the physiology of our brains to help us reduce stress and anxiety.
In this new study, 24 people with no experience in meditation were put through and eight-week long class on meditation and mindfulness. They were required to sit through 2.5 hour sessions once a week. During these courses, they learned walking meditation, sitting meditation, body scanning, and much more. On top of the courses, the participants were given homework. They had to meditate for at least 45 minutes every day on their own.
Each participant was given an MRI before and after the study and were asked a series of questions on their stress and anxiety levels.
In the end, it was found that there was an actually increase of thickness in the right insular lobe and somatosensory cortex.
The people who went through the courses actually had thicker parts of the brain that related to emotion and perception. They experienced a huge reduction in anxiety, depression, and stress. In other words, the meditation group were more emotionally aware and happier.
Meditation could be just as effective as medication
Life is stressful and anxiety can take over your life if you’re not careful. In fact, just in America stress levels have risen over 30%. Instead of trying to find the root of the problem, we’re turning towards medication to fix our problems. One in 10 Americans is taking some sort of medication such as an antidepressant.
Meditation has been proven to help us deal with our everyday stresses more effectively. So what are you waiting for? Don’t you want to be less stressed and happier? Let’s get to meditating!