Find Out What Happens Inside Your Brain When You Meditate!
Do you meditate? Many people in India and all over the world do. (The foreigners are even more enthusiastic about it :p) Even I have fixed a 15 min meditation schedule for myself in the morning but don’t seem to be able to concentrate well. All the worldly issues and materialistic stuff keep my mind occupied even when I am in the meditative pose. I get distracted easily. Well, I am just a beginner and I am sure with practice things will get better.
If you meditate regularly, you would agree to the fact that your practice has transformed your brain and the way you think. On the other hand, if you have never done meditation you would be a tad skeptical about authenticity of this claim. Here is where research comes to your rescue!
Research has looked into the powers of meditation and has explained what your brain does when you meditate. Have a look at the 8 things that happen in the brain when you meditate:
1) Your brain makes more GABA
Scientists have found that the production of a neurotransmitter called GABA gets boosted in the brain when you meditate. This is quite beneficial because lower levels of GABA in the brain are linked with higher levels of anxiety.
2) The amygdala shrinks
Amygdala is a part of the brain that is associated with fear and emotion. It has a key role to play in the stress response of the body. While studying 150 adults in an 8 week mindfulness course, it has been found that there is a decrease in the amygdalae of the subjects.
3) There is a change in the brain network
Studies reveal that those who meditate regularly have an increased connectivity between certain areas of the brain like the ones associated with attention and getting rid of distraction. These are also said to be the very basis of a meditation practice.
4) Other senses get a workout
Those who have been meditating for a long period of time demonstrate an increase in grey matter in those parts of the brain that are responsible for hearing and feeling. This does make sense as mindfulness involves closing your eyes, not getting affected by outside stimulation and focusing inwards. All of these enhance the other senses of the body.
5) The mind becomes more youthful
There is a part of the brain called cortex that shrinks with age. However, in a study it was found that 50 year old people who meditated had the same quantity of gray matter in that region as a 25 year old. So, it seems like a good reason for young people to start meditating on a daily basis.
6) Your dopamine sky-rockets
Dopamine is called the ‘reward chemcial’ as it is linked with all things that give pleasure. In one study, yoga nidra helped increase dopamine release by 65%.
7) More folds will be created in the brain
According to a study, meditators had more folds in the brain’s outer layer than others. This folding boosts the brain’s ability to process information.
8) Drop in norepinephrine levels
Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that is linked with anxiety. Studies that compare meditators with non-meditators say that those who meditated regularly had lower levels of this chemical in the blood.
Isn’t meditation immensely good for your brain health? Science says yes but you should allot time for actually doing it every day.
Hope you liked reading about the 8 Things That Happen Inside Your Brain When You Meditate!
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