The other night I felt myself becoming overwhelmed by trying to handle various task and obligations, such as completing school work, attending different meetings, exercising, and keeping a social life. While trying to balance everything, I began to get stressed and it showed. The next day my friend realized that I was currently troubled, so he recommended me to attend a meditation class with him to help unwind – I accepted.
After leaving the class I felt slightly rejuvenated and like some of the weight that was on my shoulders disappeared. Also, I felt less stressed.
So, what’s the science behind meditation?
Meditation is a form of deep thinking, and examining your mind. People meditate in order to relieve stress/weariness. Researcher believe that meditating leads to understanding of life and less suffering.
According to an article, meditation works because of 5 categories of brain waves:
- Gamma State- state of hyperactivity/learning
- Beta State- where analyzing, planning, assessing, and categorizing takes place
- Alpha State-when the brain waves begin to slow down, and we become more calm and peaceful
- Theta State- where verbal/thinking mind transitions to meditative/visual
- Delta State-most people experience this in the final state during sleep, where the brain waves range from a low 1-3 Hz
For a more in depth analysis on all of the States, click here.
Benefits of meditation are:
- Decreased insomnia
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Reduced risk of diseases, illnesses, and cardiovascular deaths.
- More focused
- Less anxiety/stress
- More creativity
It leads to neuroplasticity (brain’s ability to change structurally/functionally).
A study showed that men and women who meditated forty-minutes per day had thicker cortical walls (associates with memory, decision making, and attention functions) than those who don’t meditate. This also means that their brains aged at a slower rate.
For more fascinating facts follow this link.
Last of all, how do we meditate? Many people think they need to purchase things like yoga pants or incense candles, and sit in some fancy style, but all you need to do is concentrate and focus on one thing for a brief period. The objective of meditation is to properly train your brain, just like one would with the rest of their muscles. So, if you’re interested in relieving some stress and exercising your brain, then follow this link for a short tutorial on how to meditate. Enjoy!