Meditation can transform our brain in 8 weeks. It modifies the areas related to memory, empathy, and stress, as well as those responsible for our attention and emotional integration.
This is not an idea from a group of fanatics or lovers of pseudoscience; behind this is a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital who documented their findings.
This study was published in the journal Psychiatric Research, in which an 8-week meditation program was implemented in the hopes of measuring the benefits that meditation has on our emotions, behaviors, and thoughts.
The changes that meditation brings about in our brains
Although it is well known that meditation has many advantages, until then, it had not been proven that the changes take place so quickly, let alone that they were so far reaching.
It was seen that meditation leads to modifications in regions of the brain related to memory, self-awareness, empathy, and stress. In other words, this practice typically associated with spirituality really improves our mental and physical health.
When someone meditates, they not only feel better because they are relaxed, but also because the structure of their brain has skillfully modified its connections. It does not seem necessary to be a meditation expert to enjoy its benefits and feel an increase in our abilities to process emotions and attention.
In fact, the study’s participants spent only 27 minutes each day practicing meditation exercises. It only took 8 weeks to observe changes in the brain like an increase in the density of gray matter in the hippocampus (area related to memory) and in other areas related to self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.
Furthermore, a decrease in the density of the amygdala was observed, the structure responsible for emotional states like stress, anxiety, or fear. In other words, thanks to the plasticity of our brains, we have the ability to be better people each day, both for others and for ourselves.
Meditation, a habit that allows us to live in the present
If we meditate diligently, one of the changes that we are going to be able to appreciate first is the ability to live in the present, in the here and now, setting aside disturbing thoughts about the past or the future.
As we have mentioned, it not only induces a state of relaxation, but also allows us to achieve better control over ourselves. Thanks to meditation, we will manage our words and our thoughts, as well as the dialogue that we have with ourselves. We can better understand our emotions by not clouding them with negative thoughts and, as a result, act more calmly.
This translates into emotional and social success, as control over ourselves will lead to an improvement in our relationships, our undertakings, and our daily lives.
Before starting to practice meditation, we must be aware that great respect must be shown towards the subject, because despite the abundance of experts and advice for it, they are not always authentic as this is a discipline that requires great intellectual effort and the help of an able instructor.
As we have emphasized, meditation dissolves and releases our thoughts, making us concentrate on the present and conquer stress and worry. Our mind will always want to show that our awareness is suppressed, which is why it may be difficult at first to deal with tickling, scratching our bare skin, or any other irritation.
In any case, if you have still never tried meditation and you would like to enter this world that brings so many benefits, you have to dedicate time to getting informed and reflecting on the type of meditation that is best suited to you, your values, your beliefs, and your needs. This will be, without a doubt, the first step you must take to turn this wonderful, beneficial practice into a habit.