Neuroscientists now have evidence proving what meditators have been saying for years: Meditation can improve people’s physical and emotional health.
Imaging studies show that meditation increases certain areas of the brain responsible for memory and emotion. “Also the parts of the brain that respond the most to stress gets smaller with meditation. This means that anxiety and depression naturally fade with a meditation practice,” according to researchers.
I’ve been doing mindfulness and guided meditations using an app called “Insight Timer” on and off now for about a year, and I definitely notice a difference in my anxiety levels on the days that I meditate versus the days I don’t. Although on many of the days I meditate, my anxiety level is already low because I tend to have trouble focusing long enough to meditate when my anxiety is high. Go figure!
I do believe the effects of meditation last me a few days and are somewhat cumulative in that sense. So, even when I meditate on a low anxiety day, it could be helping me avoid a super high anxiety day the next day or the day after that.
Meditation hasn’t had an effect on my bipolar depression levels, but maybe it would if I practiced it more consistently since one of my depression triggers is anxiety. It’s probably worth a try, but to be honest, I have my doubts.
What about you? Do you meditate? What benefits has it brought to your health? Or in light of this recent research, would you consider trying meditation? Why or why not?