Recently I have been focusing on the topic of meditation and would like to share some scientific information. There is much scientific information available about the effects of meditation on our physical bodies. Let’s take a look at some of these effects.
Researchers have found that, individuals that meditated for half an hour daily for eight weeks seemed to have a decrease in the volume of grey matter in their brains. This grey matter (consisting of hypothalamus and amygdala) is known to be responsible for the brain’s memory, perception of personality and stress functions.
The type of meditation style known as the awareness meditation is a technique rooted in and taken from Buddhism. In the 1970s it became especially popular in America and nowadays this technique has earned the approval of scientific communities, for this reason it is now widely used in the treatment of depression.
The main thought behind this technique is to focus on our breathing and sensations while being aware of our thoughts and feelings while doing so. It aims by doing so to bring our consciousness to the present moment, to being ‘here and now.’
Other research (in 2009) has indicated that meditation can benefit those with cardiovascular disease, namely that it can decrease the blood pressure of such individuals. Another important implication (2007) is that individuals engaging in meditation have reported that they have longer concentration spans.
Another important piece of research conducted in 2008 has shown that meditation has lead to the development in the part of the brain responsible for increasing empathy levels. Such people have reported that they felt closer, altruistic and considerate towards others which seemed to be in pain or in need of help.
As you can see the technique known as ‘meditation’ has incredible physical effects on us. Of course the effects are not only restricted to physical ones since the physical changes in the brain lead to fundamental changes in our feelings.
Could you allocate a mere half an hour for yourselves every day? Could you sit in silence, focus on your breathing, notice the entry and exit of each breath into your body and observe the mental state you are in? I am sure that everyone who wants this can do it because during the day our minds produce so many thoughts which exhaust it, being able to pause these processes will surely lead to relaxation. What do you say to give this process a try?
At this point I would like to mention a point I always emphasise during my seminars, ‘loving and kindness meditation.’ In summary for this type of meditation it is enough to close your eyes and imagine yourself and to then visualize sending yourself love. After visualising yourself it is then possible to visualize sending love to your loved ones, friends, family, neighbours, the people living in your area, those living in the same town, those in the same country and finally to everyone in the universe! After focusing for just 15-20 minutes you will have sent ‘love energy’ to yourself and to everyone on the universe. A wonderful relaxation state and peace of having just done a beneficial activity will follow allowing you to carry on with your day in peace. While doing this activity and if the individuals you are sending the love energy to have any illnesses or problems, repeating this sentence will enable you to send your best wishes to them. ‘Be healthy, happy and peaceful!’ or instead you could replace this with any other sentence to express yourself towards that person.
Dear readers we must not forget that, in the universe, whichever feelings or whatever we give out we will receive back. Let’s remind ourselves that we ‘reap what you sow’ and send everyone loving lights. Let’s not forget that we should accept individuals as they are without judging and remember that everyon
e is perfect just the way they are!