Even 30 minutes of meditation per day can work wonders for your mind. In recent decades, studies at some of the top universities in the United States have examined the benefits of meditation — with some impressive results. Find out what they’ve discovered about this soothing mental training and how it can help you lead a happier, healthier life.
Counter-Aging of the Brain
A study conducted by researchers at UCLA showed that meditation can slow the brain’s aging. Comparing the brains of long-term meditators to those of non-meditators showed that those who had been meditating for an average of 20 years had more gray matter throughout the brain. Older persons who meditated still showed some gray matter loss compared to their younger counterparts, but it was less pronounced than it was for those who didn’t meditate at all.
Calm Your Wandering Mind
A Yale University study showed mindfulness meditation reduced activity in the brain’s default mode network, or DMN. The DMN is linked to self-referential thoughts and a wandering mind. It tends to kick into gear when you aren’t concentrating on any particular topic. It’s probably partially responsible for those late nights you’ve spent lying awake in bed. Meditators are better able to quiet the DMN and snap out of mental wandering.
Combat Depression & Anxiety
Meditation has also been shown to combat the effects of depression and anxiety. A review study by Johns Hopkins found meditation had a moderate impact in treating depression, anxiety, and pain similar to antidepressants. While it may not be a silver bullet solution for depression and anxiety, it can certainly help manage symptoms.