The Science Behind Meditating
Meditation is no longer reserved for your hippie, vegan friend that smells faintly of garlic. The age-old practice has had a modern face lift in the past decade, making it a popular wellness option for those looking to destress, relax and refocus. CEOs, celebrities and politicians are some of the people that have gone public about their use of meditation. However, we understand that there are still some skeptics out there. How much could sitting still for 10 minutes really do? Well, we’ve gathered some of the most solid research available to answer the question: what is the science behind meditating?
Let’s start with the most obvious. Research has proven that meditation (specifcally mindfulness-based meditation) is a “promising modality for stress management.” In over 17 studies, 16 of them showed “positive changes in psychological or physiological outcomes related to anxiety/stress.”
Having trouble sleeping at night? Meditating could be your answer to getting a restful night’s sleep. Research has found “significant effects” in sleep quality, sleep efficiency and sleep onset latency. This means participants were falling asleep faster & feeling more refreshed when they woke up. Sounds great to us!
Yup, you heard us! It was commonly believed that after your early-mid 20s, your brain had fully developed. There was no room for growth. Well, meditation seems to be changing that idea. Studies have found evidence to suggest that “meditating for years thickens the brain (in a good way).” According to the Harvard Gazzette, you're even looking at increasing the amount gray matter in your brain.
We all want to be happier in our relationships - whether it’s platonic, romantic or family. Research proves that meditating can help people feel happier and less stressed in relationships. This could come pretty handy during holiday gatherings, don’t ya think?
Getting your work done without being distracted by that cute kitten video? Seems impossible. But, meditation could actually improve your ability to orient your attention and focus. The quicker you get your work done, the quicker you can get back to that video. Seems like a win/win to us!
Like we said, meditation has the possibility to change your brain. Another positive brain change caused by meditation could be in the brain mechanisms that control the pain experience. Who isn’t down to feel less pain? I think we can all agree that’s a positive.
As well as mental changes, meditation could help your body respond to infections and illnesses. Research shows that “meditation may change the brain and immune system in positive ways.” So it’s your choice: be bed-ridden for a week with lots and lots of snot or sit for 10 minutes a day? We choose the latter.