5 scientific explanations of meditation benefits
Fans of yoga and meditation, it is no more just than fans inflated asses. Buddhist practitioners addicted to many Hollywood beauty - Madonna, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, - a listing of all takes up more space than this material. With yoga everything seems to be clear: gymnastics tightens figure improves stretching trains muscles. The word "meditation" are still many causes only vague esoteric association. If you are a skeptic, like me, here are the five scientific experiments and opinions in favor of meditation.
1. Train your brain
Different meditation techniques train different parts of the brain. It seems like in the gym you are doing specific exercises for each muscle group.
This was confirmed by a study of Tanya Singer and her colleagues at the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Human Sciences, the Max Planck brain. Scientists have gained a few groups that are three months, six days a week, attended half-hour courses with different meditation techniques. Some subjects performed exercise at attention, while others learned to love and shared their emotions, others have tried to look at ourselves. The results are recorded by means of tests and MRI.
The cycle of "presence", where it was necessary to monitor breathing, heart rate and other processes that affect the prefrontal cortex. It is responsible for attention, goal-setting and will. "Emotion" cycle developed limbic system. "Looking from the outside" stepped area connection inferior frontal and lateral temporal cortex, which forms the ability to imagine the mental states of others.
2. Develops concentration
Despite the tons of benefits to combat procrastination, distractions constant desire to win is still difficult. While I wrote this line, time to go get a drink. Those who are too hard to pull myself together and focus on one thing, will practice meditation focused attention. It's easy and difficult at the same time: it is necessary to focus on the breath and about anything else not to think. Every time you notice that again invent a good response in the dispute with the former, or remember whether bought vegetables for dinner - safely return thought back to the breath.
How it works, it demonstrated experience with Buddhist monks. American scientists asked them to meditate in the chamber MRI, and themselves at this time to observe what happens to the brain of experimental. Completely stop distractions can not afford even the monks who had spent many years in meditation. To capture the moments of wandering in the clouds, the Buddhists were asked to press a button each time their attention is waning.
MRI machine was clearly visible, as the brain gradually died away during meditation. Activity remained only the region responsible for the concentration.
Those who meditated for the first time, we could not even come close to the concentration of the results, which showed Buddhist monks.
3. Changes stress genes
What meditation exercises effect on the body at the level of genes, several studies have confirmed.
For example, experts from the University of California, School of Medicine at New York Hospital and at Harvard University published in the journal Translational Psychiatry article on the effects of meditation. We took part in an experiment about a hundred healthy women between 30 and 60 years, who were resting on the California resort. At first, the whole group lived in the same mode, then some people start to meditate. Among the subjects were both experienced meditators and novices. Before and after the completion of the experiment, all participants gave blood and filled out questionnaires about their health.
A week sessions, it was found that women who practice meditation, changed activity of genes responsible for the occurrence of stress and depression. "The results show that the benefits of meditation are not only psychological. The functioning of the body is changing, and it is absolutely clear and quantifiable. Meditation - is one way to rest and relax during the day, which helps the immune system and the body as a whole to overcome the stress, "- said the study's lead author Rudolph Tanzi.
4. Helps cope better with everyday problems
Each of us wants to live a happy life, to see the meaning in it, and to control their emotions. The practice of mindfulness helps the brain to produce new neural circuits, which will help to understand their emotions and possess, according to the author Telegram channel @illusioscope Alex hedgehog.
Exercises on mindfulness, first teach you the time to notice and call their emotions, and then monitor them and change their attitude to what is happening. To transform anxiety into irony and anger - in enthusiasm. No magic - just training.
5. Relieves pain better analgesics
In the experiment, Baptist Medical Center volunteers were engaged in 20 minutes of meditation. Previously, they were not familiar with this practice. Before and after the session, participants will have caused pain, recording their reactions to MRI. According Ph.D. Fadela Zeidan, the researchers found a reduction in pain intensity by about 40%. This is almost two times higher than the effectiveness of painkillers.
We have already heard about yogis sleeping on pins and needles and swallowing fire. That only is the story of the monk Thich Quang Duc, who has publicly set himself on fire in protest against the political persecution of Buddhists. It is rumored that he died in the lotus position, and even flames forced him to withdraw from the meditation. It is in any case not to accept the appeal of Buddhism and to burn yourself, but agree that the level of monk self-control can only envy.
What is considered meditation?
All very subjective, and there is no real and not real meditation. You do not need scented candles, lotus posture, and other nonsense. Although, if you want, let them be. The main thing - to feel comfortable. There is no right or correct method, posture, time, place. You can at any time decide, "Now I meditate." All that will happen next - it's your practice.
According to author of the book "Buddha, the brain and neuroscience of happiness" Mingyur Jonge, meditation - that is all that you experience when you pay attention to what is happening in your mind at any time. No need to be tied to specific thoughts and feelings. Do not try to grasp at every thought or banish it - just watch how it comes and goes. It makes no sense to imagine himself as the Dalai Lama. Treat it as a conventional exercise.