Did you know that meditation can preserve the aging brain and reduce the amount of grey matter loss in the brain? Also, did you know that meditation reduces pain intensity by 40% and pain unpleasantness by 57%, as perceived by the brain? It not only helps to preserve the aging brain and reduce pain intensity and pain unpleasantness, meditation also helps improve the brain by improving concentration, managing the symptoms of depression and coping with addiction.
Meditation Improves Concentration
In the research conducted at University of California, by Michael Mrazek and his team, found that just a couple of weeks of meditation training helped people’s focus and memory during the verbal reasoning section of the Graduate Record Examinations. The increase in score was found to be equivalent to 16 percentile points. Since meditation increases and extends the attention span of an individual, it is expected that meditation is able to help people’s cognitive skills on the job as well.
Meditation Effects Rival Antidepressants for Depression
The review study conducted by Researcher Madhav Goyal and his team, at John Hopkins, analysed the relationship between mindfulness meditation and its ability to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and realised that the effect size of meditation was at 0.3, moderate. While this figure sounds low, the effect size for antidepressants is also 0.3. “Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways,” says Goyal. While meditation may not be able to cure depression, it can help manage the symptoms.
Meditation Helps with Coping with Addiction
A scholarly article in the journal, Drug Alcohol Depend, analysed the successfulness of mindfulness training as compared to the American Lung Association’s freedom from smoking (FFS) program. It was discovered that people who underwent mindfulness training were significantly more lightly to have quit smoking by the end of the training, than those in the conventional treatment. Meditation helps people “decouple” the state of craving, from the act of smoking. This means that one thought does not have to lead to an action, and it is possible to ride out the “wave” of craving, until it passes.
While meditation is a not a panacea to all problems, much of the evidence has shown that it has done more good, than harm, especially for those who practice it on a regular basis. And its benefits can be felt even after a short span of practice. Especially for those leading a hectic working lifestyle, meditation can help calm the tired souls and improve concentration, to enable you to take on the next day’s challenges.
Follow us on: