How Meditation Actually Benefits the Brain
We know that meditating makes you feel better, but did you know that it makes your brain work better? Not just your mind, but your actual, physical, brain.
For over twenty years scientists have been studying people who meditate before, during, and after meditation to understand what’s going on physically.
Numerous research studies have found that brain activity is affected during and after meditation in ways that result in some pretty awesome benefits:
Reduced perception of pain(1)
Brain waves associated with feelings of calm become more pronounced(2)
Improved attention, focus, and ability to visually track multiple objects(3)
Scientists concluded that meditation leads to these positive changes by improving how the cerebral networks in our brain actually function.(4)
But what about physiological change? When we improve our muscle function – i.e. grow stronger – we can see physiological change; we get bigger muscles. Our brains are harder to observe, inside our heads after all.
Nevertheless, one aspect of physiological change has been documented. Scientists have shown that the grey matter in our brain – the area where most brain activity takes place – actually increases in mass with meditation.(5)
See! You think better; you get bigger thinking muscles.
…..Now, if you like us, have found it challenging to develop a meditation practice, even after knowing these amazing benefits, then join us for Chorus! During our signature classes, we combine different mindfulness techniques and breathe to the beat of an energizing playlist designed to make it easier to turn down the noise in our minds and ensure you feel something from your very first session. You’ll leave feeling calm, clear, and connected. Most importantly, we’ll help you change meditation from something you know you *should* do to something you actually *WANT* to do.
Until next time!
Ali & MK
(1) “Cortical thickness and pain sensitivity in zen meditators”, 2010, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20141301
(2) “Brain waves and meditation”, Science Daily, 2010: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100319210631.htm
“Increased Theta and Alpha EEG Activity During Nondirective Meditation”, 2009, https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/acm.2009.0113
(3) “Mindful breath awareness meditation facilitates efficiency gains in brain networks: A steady-state visually evoked potentials study.”, 2018: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30209327
(4) “The effect of meditation on brain structure: cortical thickness mapping and diffusion tensor imaging”, 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3541490/
(5) “Eight weeks to a better brain”, The Harvard Gazette, 2011, https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/01/eight-weeks-to-a-better-brain/
(6) “Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness.”, 2006, https://europepmc.org/articles/pmc1361002