First and foremost, in order to do something in life there has to be a good reason for it, otherwise we would all be running around doing the same exact things. When it comes to meditation, some are attracted to it because of natural curiosity, while others might have read and studied scientific journals that show the potential meditation has on the human brain.
Recent research conducted by David Creswell from Carnegie Mellon University shows that mindfulness meditation has substantial effects on health, specifically in the field of neurobiology, which was shown in this study that meditation can be effective in improving health, reducing aging, and promoting the brain’s ability to cope with stress.
The brain scans showed that mindfulness meditation training increased the functional connectivity of the participants’ resting default mode network in areas important to attention and executive control, namely the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Participants who received the relaxation training did not show these brain changes.
This study is just one of the many that are being concluded each year, in the last 2 years alone there have been great discoveries in how meditation affects cognitive thinking, and even changes the structure of the brain over a period of time.
In my humble opinion, nothing beats personal experience. Scientific research is there to help us as human beings better understand the structure of our bodies, the real deal happens on your meditation cushion each morning, or whenever your preferred time of meditation might be.
What to expect from your meditation practice?
These are my personal observations of how meditation can change your life in as little as 4 weeks of doing a regular practice. Take the process of forming this new habit seriously, and there will be noticeable changes happening in your life.
- Stress reduction — during a meditation session your body and mind has a chance to completely relax and surrender into the present moment, this promotes natural healing for your nervous system, whilst calming down the mind and the craziness happening in there!
- Increase in awareness — enjoy being more aware of your thoughts, your thought patterns and how they govern your life experiences, with a little bit of practice (and patience!) you can learn to change those patterns to more positive ones.
- Creative freedom — do you remember as a teenager, sitting with a cup of tea next to a window watching the rain wash away the all the dirt? It wasn’t uncommon to come up with creative ideas during those moments of serenity, because unknowingly (or knowingly) you were meditating and creating a space for creative ideas to form. Meditation helps to promote the frequency of such serene moments, drastically!
And this is me touching only the very tip of the iceberg. You can read some more of my personal experiences with meditation here.
Self Help on Huffington Post