Last year, we brought you a Canadian study which showed how older persons can boost brain health through meditation.
A team led by researchers at Harvard University have now gone one better, measuring physical changes in the brain and attributing them to regular meditation in a scientifically-valid manner.
Senior author Sara Lazar commented on the inspiration for the study: “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day”
List of latest Meditation Research Papers
We have collected together a significant list of scientific studies into the effects of meditation:
Meditation produces cerebral cortex growth
The results showed that daily meditation practice caused growth of the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain associated with memory, language and higher-level perceptions.
“This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”
It seems simple, and in fact everyone can meditate. But for many, being shown how to do it, and encouraged to try, can be the only way to get started. And in today’s fast-paced world it is more relevant than ever.
Rebecca Barry Hill recently argued in the New Zealand Herald that the average amount of time we spend at the office has not increased. Rather, more people are more busy because of better communications technology; today work is more likely to follow you home.
“There is a way out of the busy trap. We all know the benefits of exercise when it comes to combating stress. But meditation and, in particular, mindfulness meditation, is an extremely effective tool. Mindfulness is about accepting life as it is, observing things in a kind and non-judgmental way and keeping your attention in the now, not the past or future and what could go wrong.”
Meditation improves memory
A recent study from the US also points towards meditation as boosting short-term memory capacity, based on better exam scores in a reading-comprehension test.
“Since the strong focus of attention (on an object, idea, or activity) is one of the central aims of meditation, it’s not so surprising that meditation should help people’s cognitive skills on the job, too – but it’s nice to have science confirm it. And everyone can use a little extra assistance on standardized tests.”
Alice Walton continues to show the diverse range of health benefits from meditation in that Forbes article, including boosting brain health, reducing social anxiety and lowering risk of other medical conditions. You can think of these as indirect benefits.
The direct result of starting a regular practice of meditation will be more energy, enhanced performance in tasks requiring attention and focus, and better ability to manage stress.
Infusing your organisation’s culture with meditation skills will transform customer service and team cohesion, while boosting overall productivity. Call us today on 1300 889 073 to discuss a program suitable for your objectives – we can create one to match any fixed budget.