This is Your Brain on Meditation: It's Growing!
A NY Times article sites new studies that seem to show that meditation causes actual physically measurable changes in the brain. This caught my interest and apparently that of many others as well, as it was the second most shared piece that day.
The official study followed those who meditated for 30 minutes a day over eight weeks. They were found to have "measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress." Before and after MRI's were done on the subjects to see these changes. Other findings are interestingly for those who suffer from anxiety and stress. Scientists also found a lessening of gray matter in the amygdala, a brain region connected to anxiety and stress. The control group showed no such changes.
As a longtime (over 15 years) meditator, and graduate of the Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation Training at Spirit Rock in CA. I can truly say that it is the most beneficial thing one can do for oneself to improve the quality of life!
The findings were a confirmation of what I've found from experience: that meditation lessens the tendency to obsessively worry. I also notice increased feelings of calmness and tolerance for ups and downs in daily life.
So am I saying that meditation can have a bigger impact than adding exercise and watching ones diet, would? In my opinion yes, here’s why: the meditation will impact and improve both of the latter too. It's already been used to help those who overeat, to become more mindful of why they are eating. Emotions-fear, loneliness that may be provoking that raid of the fridge for leftover cake become clearer as a result of meditation practice. In terms of exercise several benefits that meditation could add include- more awareness of your body as you workout (less chance of pushing too hard) or simply allowing you to stick with your new regimen as you are more aware of how good you actually feel.Continued on the next page