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Meditation Makes the Brain Grow

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Meditation is receiving more and more attention in the circle outside the already initiated. There is extensive research into meditation and the evidence for its positive effects is becoming increasingly clear. It is only a matter of time until meditation becomes something for everyone.


In the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet on March 26, 2022, an article about meditation and science was published. The article shows that there has been a lot of research on meditation, but that most of the studies that have been done so far have been carried out by people who have already been involved in meditation for a long time, where the results are based on self-assessment without a relevant control group.


The article draws attention to Harvard researcher Sara Lazar. She herself had experienced the positive effects of yoga and meditation and decided to investigate this further. She discovered that there were a large number of studies indicating that meditation had positive effects on depression, anxiety, pain, sleep difficulties, focus and general well-being.


Meditation center for brain health. Guided sessions in Stockholm.

She asked herself what happens to the body when you meditate. She therefore conducted a study in which she divided 30 previously non-meditating people into two groups, one who was allowed to meditate for 45 minutes daily and a control group who did not meditate. The subjects' brains were scanned before and after meditation. In those who meditated, an increase in volume in the following brain regions could be perceived: (i) the regions that have a bearing on our self-perception, (ii) the hippocampus, which is important in learning and memory, (iii) areas where cognitive functions exist and (iv) the brainstem that releases the feel-good substance serotonin. Corresponding changes could not be seen in the non-meditating control group.


The conclusion was therefore that it was possible to demonstrate that meditation leads to actual changes in the brain. The improvements people reported in terms of well-being could thus be backed up with visible physical changes.


My thoughts on the matter


I, an avid meditator with almost ten years of experience with Stockholm Meditation, feel very positive about meditation being noticed in scientific circles. This kind of attention raises general awareness of the importance of meditation to our well-being.


Without making any scientific claims, I dare say that access to a method through which one can release anxiety, stress and negative thoughts leads to a significant improvement in a person's quality of life. This is something that I myself have experienced and also seen in other people who meditate with Stockholm Meditation. Getting rid of or reducing stress means a huge gain for the individual and society. The connection between high levels of negative stress and ill health has already been scientifically well established.


A cornerstone of meditation is becoming aware of oneself through introspection. When we look inward and observe ourselves, we see behaviors, thought patterns and situations where we become stressed, worried, judgmental, etc. We realize that stress, worry, and anxiety arise when we believe in/hold on to our negative thoughts. When we consider them as something that is true and proper, we feel that we need to act to seek to satisfy them. When we find that this is not possible, we become frustrated. We end up in an endless struggle, a limbo, where we can't do anything, but still try to cope. It is both fruitless and exhausting.


Through meditation, we can effectively let go of these negative thoughts and feelings. Like all good things, it takes time and work to achieve lasting results. It is important that you find a routine that fits your daily life. Over time, you notice that you are no longer as "invested" in your constantly grinding thoughts, feelings and all kinds of stories that play out inside. One can "see beyond" these - and an inner peace and wisdom is gradually revealed. It is the way to a better life.


If you want to make a change in your life, meditation is an effective way. Do not hesitate to contact Stockholm Meditation or any other meditation center to begin your journey. Many of us already meditate, but would like to see more people do it.


Michael

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