Meditate your way to health
What happens to your brain when you meditate?
Well, the answer is pretty simple, you actually rewire you brain for better health and happiness. Years of Scientific research has shown that meditation reduces stress, improves concentration and increases happiness. We’ve all heard of dopamine or the “happy chemical”, well when you meditate your dopamine level rises quite substantially, and that is reason enough for us to meditate!
So, what are these brain changes?
Meditation actually increases the grey matter in your brain i.e. the thinking part of your brain. By maintaining grey matter you are basically slowing down the ageing process of the brain since our brains shrink with age.
How else does mediating affect the brain?
It enhances the brains ability to reorganise itself, especially in the pre frontal cortex – the seat of meta-awareness – the fundamental aspect of mindfulness and self-awareness. It regulates cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision-making and social behaviours. It orchestrates our thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals
Meditation can also shrink the amygda- the fight or flight centre, which is the reptilian part of our brain. These changes can reduce stress, anxiety, fear and cortisol. A smaller amygdala can also help to reduce symptoms of PTSD and trauma
Ok so in less scientific terms this means that tons of areas of the brain benefit from the effects of meditation, leaving us all calmer, more emotionally stable people.
The Intangible Benefits
At the end of the day meditation helps build the most important relationship you have – the relationship with yourself! People who have adopted a meditative practise are happier, more proactive, and develop greater clarity and insight into themselves and their lives. They are more connected and their meditative journey is transformative. Meditation is medicine – the good kind!
If the prospect of meditation is intimidating to you, consider getting started with a mediation app; Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer, Aura: Mindfulness Daily and Inscape are some great ones we recommend.
So what are you waiting for? Get out your cushion, close our eyes, and breathe!
Durban Get It Magazine – August 2017Women of substance