Recently, there has been lot of talk about the benefits meditation. The stresses of modern society have begun to take a toll on many, and hence the high interest in these ancient practices.
Meditation has by and large been accepted as remedy to reducing anxiety, alleviating depression, and decreasing stress – which in turn reduces the health risks of numerous stress-induced diseases.
But, most of us (myself included) don’t understand what exactly meditation does for the brain. You may be skeptical of the effects of meditation, but there is science behind the fact that it does help.
This post is a bit technical, but bear with me because the facts are really interesting!
SCIENCE, HERE WE COME!
So to begin, we have to get ourselves familiar with some areas within the brain.
Lateral Pre Frontal Cortex
Medial Pre Frontal Cortex (mPFC)
The mPFC is split into two sections
- Ventromedial medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) – According to the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers have found that the vmPFC seems to control emotional responses to certain social situations and behaviors (i.e worrying / rumination / feeling anxious, making sound moral judgments, etc)
- Dorsomedial medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) – Is activated when people try to assess the mental states of others (i.e their beliefs, desires, and intentions). It processes information on the differences you feel between yourself and others. This is the part of the brain that feels empathy towards others and helps to maintain social connections.
So, now that we are experts on different areas in the brain…..
Brain without Meditation
Brain with Meditation
Practice Practice Practice
If you have made it all the way down here then THANK you for stopping by and reading!