Recent studies have actually shown that you are able to re-train and re-wire your brain. This phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity. Pathways and patterns within your brain will actually change. What will actually make these alterations you ask? Our own thoughts and perceptions actually have the power to do this. Simply put, positive thinking and optimism can actually mold your brain. Meditation has been proven to have these effects.
Meditation has also been shown to lower cortisol levels and stress. The Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins released a report stating that meditation can help with:
- reducing pain
- improve sleep quality
- reduce headaches
- lower risk of obesity
- lower inlammation
- treating mental disorders like depression
- boost productivity
- improving memory
Often, those suffering from depression will get fixated on negative thoughts. One negative event can spur a vicious cycle of negativity. Meditation aids in focusing on the facts of a situation and will separate old beliefs from those facts. This will help to decrease overall psychological stress.
Chronic pain is often tied to emotional stresses. While pain itself is not fun to deal with, added negative emotions will make the pain so much worse. Through meditation, you can alter these thoughts and change the patterns related to the pain.
Stress has been shown to produce hormones and immune factors that promote the retention of fat as well as emotional eating. Guided meditation and mindfulness can combat these cravings and lower the hormone levels. 86% of reviewed studies showed improvements in eating behaviors after meditation.
Those suffering from insomnia can also greatly benefit from meditation. It is a great way to turn your brain off at night right before bed. Many cannot fall asleep due to replaying the days events or worrying about their day tomorrow. Through meditation, you can turn down these thoughts and relax.
If you’re new to meditation, finding some guided meditation will probably be easiest. I use an app called Buddhify. A youtube channel called Boho Beautiful is also a great guided meditation. You only need to do it for about 5 minutes a day to start and it’s super simple. If you struggle from any of the conditions above or are just curious, give it a try!