A look at how meditating could change your body inside and out, from boosting your willpower to your brain power, and more.
Meditation has been garnering attention in the public for decades for good reason. Studies have shown meditation to positively influence our body in many ways, from increasing concentration to lowering blood pressure. The science behind it has slowly begun accumulating, with studies identifying effects on the brain even with just a few hours of meditation. Whether you're looking to get a better night's sleep, improve your attention, or work on your willpower, try putting aside a few minutes a day to meditate!
While researchers have long known that meditation can help lower a person's stress levels, it's only recently that researchers have started to look at how that's happening in the brain itself. In one recent study, MRI scans of participants who had gone through mindfulness meditation training had a decrease in activation in the right amygdala. This region is responsible for deciding which emotions to use when you're exposed to things in the outside world and is often also known for being the brain's fight-or-flight center. Lower activation could mean a more controlled emotional response to what's going on in your life. Another study found that meditation might lead to changes in grey matter in regions of the brain regulating emotion and getting perspective on life events. Together, these changes show how the brain shifts its own structure to respond better to emotionally challenging and stressful situations.