It’s hard to believe without proof. When meditation boasts about unrestricted energy flow, bright and colourful auras, and waves of positive vibrations, eyebrows rise in disbelief, especially those of those who haven’t tried or those who’ve tried but failed.
But science, arguably the universal voice of reason, is on meditation’s side. It has probed, tested, and proven that there’s truth — a ton of it — in meditation’s purported claims.
Check out these scientific proofs that will warm sceptics up and, maybe, convince them to try:
Quiets Brain Chatter
The power of meditation begins with the brain. It then cascades to the rest of the body and spreads outwards. Brain scans show that during meditation, the brain rests. The activity dies down specifically in areas associated with anxiety and depression.
It resets the brain in a good way, and results in better memory, higher self-awareness and increased pain tolerance.
More Positive Brainwaves
Alpha waves — brainwaves associated with positivity, love, and happiness — are stronger and higher in meditation practitioners, and it has been observed that these brainwaves strengthen further as one progresses with the practice.
In addition, meditation improves the brain area associated with empathy, consequently improving a person’s ability to relate to others and to understand what they’re going through. Thus, meditation helps in developing personal relationships and social skills.
A Denser Brain
Physically and materially dense, that is! A particular study shows that areas connected to learning, memory retention, and emotion control are denser after eight weeks of constant meditation. On the other hand, grey matter density in the amygdala — the area associated with stress, blood pressure, and fear — is reduced.
As mentioned earlier, all this goodness doesn’t stay up in the head. It flows down to the other parts of the body, and the heart becomes a chipper organ because of it. Because of meditation, the heart is able to pump oxygen and carbon dioxide through the blood more efficiently.
Stronger Immune System
It has been observed that people who meditate produce more antibodies to fight off viruses and bacteria that invade the body. Although this doesn’t mean that the body becomes disease-proof, meditation certainly helps the body become more resilient.
The brain is not the only part of your body physically altered by meditation. It also lengthens telomeres, the protective protein end caps of chromosomes that help protect DNA from damage and keep cells alive.
In addition, shortened telomeres are associated with increased risks in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. Thus, it’s better to keep these chromosome caps strong and long.