We all know that meditation helps us relax, focus and reach a higher level of consciousness but do we know what it does to our bodies from a scientific perspective? Well, I found a video that explains how exactly meditation affects our bodies.
A little bit of history…
For thousands of years, people have been practicing meditation for different reasons. It seems that in Indus Valley in India, archeologists have discovered proof of meditation in the form of wall art, dating from about 5,000 to 3,000 BCE.
The drawings exhibited people sitting on the ground with their legs crossed and their hands resting on their knees. They also found meditation techniques described in Indian manuscripts dating back to approximately 3,000 years ago.
As time went by, many religions and cultures embraced the basic concepts of meditation. They included different forms of meditation in their customs. Nowadays, meditation is practiced all over the world and in the past year only, over 20 million Americans adults have practiced meditation.
The scientific power of meditation
Apparently, it all starts in the brain. Meditation increases neural activity in some sections of the brain, decreasing anxiety and depressions while increasing pain tolerance. It can also help reduce negativity, sadness and anger.
Meditation stimulates the Default Mode Network (DMN). DMN is known to be a series of regions in the brain that are active when a person doesn’t focus on the outside world, and the mind is at rest. It is proved to help improve self-awareness, memory and goal setting.
Those facts are only a small part of this incredible video created by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, the guys behind AsapSCIENCE. I really love those videos because they answer in a fun and creative way a lot of deep, profound questions.
Check out the video below to learn all the wonderful benefits of meditation, explained scientifically:
Four meditation techniques
- Zen method
- Mindfulness method
- Qigong method
- Mantra method
Since I am a beginner myself, I didn’t know there were different methods of meditation. I thought that you had to sit with your legs crossed, chanting “Om” and that was it. Well, I guess I was wrong!
According to a study from the San Francisco State University, it seems that choosing the meditation technique that is best suited for you is crucial to achieving optimal results. The researchers also say that you should try different methods until you find the one that’s most effective for you. That way, you are less likely to quit!
The study was done by teaching 4 meditation methods to 247 persons and then asked to practice at home. They had to tell which method they liked best.
The two most simple techniques, Mantra and Mindfulness, were the ones preferred by 31% of the participants while Qigong and Zen were chosen by 22% and 14.8% of the participants, respectively. So here are the four meditation techniques used in the study.
Click on infographic to enlarge
Over to you
Do you meditate? If not, do you plan on starting to meditate soon? If you do, what techniques do you practice? And what benefits do you get from it?
I have never meditated, but I plan on trying it out some day! I am a very nervous person, so I think it would help me be calmer and at peace with myself. Please, share your thoughts in the comment box below. I’d like to know what you think!