Lately everyone’s talking about meditation and just how good it is for you and a lot of that buzz is thanks to research showing the positive effects of meditation on the brain. You have probably heard about neuroplasticity, a mouthful of a word that means your brain can change and that’s a quite big deal because the prevailing logic until the 1980’s was that once you became an adult you were stuck with the brain you had. Now we know you can continue to train your brain much like you can train your muscles and one of the most cutting edge brain training tools is, of course, meditation.
De-stress your Amygdala
Meditators know it and now science has explained why meditation makes you feel so damn relaxed. It comes down to meditation switching off activity in the amygdala – the part of the brain that becomes overstimulated with chronic stress and anxiety. Meditation not only makes you less reactive it also boosts your resilience to stress.
Thicken Your Cortex
Meditation makes your cortex thicker but that’s a good thing! Thickening of the cortex is associated with boosting your memory and attention as well as your brain’s ability to plan and organize. It also points to the potential for meditation to prevent the thinning of the cortex associate with old age memory loss.
Meditation has been shown to boost the level of grey matter (science speak for brain power) in the part of your brain linked to positive emotions as well as emotional stability – the hippocampus.
Juice up your Junctures
Not only does meditation make you feel good it also makes you a kinder more compassionate person thanks to the activation of you temporal parietal junctures. This area in your brain is tied to empathy and means you are more willing to respond to those in need.
The wealth of research showing the benefits of meditation is amazing and the results being produced are astonishing however I’m sure what we have already seen is just the tip of the iceberg of what we will discover about the benefits of meditation.
Wes Smith is Live Well's Director and has 20 years experience as a practitioner and wellness educator. He has a special interest in working with chronic immune issues, stress, anxiety and depression.
Wes is passionate about inspiring and educating people to create and sustain their vitality and wellbeing so they can live life to the full.
Wes also enjoys teaching meditation and is the creator of meditatewithwes.com an online resource for learning how to meditate. es has a B.App.Sc.(Acup), Diploma of Herbal Medicine, a Yoga Teaching Diploma and is an APHRA registered acupuncturist.