Why Does Mediation Work? It seems an awful lot like people sitting around and doing nothing. And it is. Kind of like nights where you catch up on the DVR. But with meditation, you’re not being entertained or distracted. You put down the phone. You turn the computer, TV and music off. You’re not at work, or driving. You stop everything. You sit with yourself. Your mind is a lot louder than you think.
Much like going to therapy and getting all the heaviness off your chest, meditation allows you the time and focus to sort and your thoughts and emotions. Once you acknowledge them, you become better aware of them and can learn to control them. Having this insight into yourself generates a wave of positive benefits.
Even the science of your brain says so. Researchers at UCLA found that if you name your emotions, you can tame them. When test subjects articulated their negative emotions, the brain calmed down. Researchers used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine to survey the subject’s brain activity. The study findings help identify the neural pathways that link mindfulness with improved psychological and physical well being. The results suggests that mindfulness reduces negative affect and promotes greater physical health through labeling one’s feelings.
Now that the letting go is taking place, then comes the relaxation. Once the intensity of your worries lessens, you can relax. In turn, your body feels better and your mind more at ease. Spiritually, you are getting to know yourself, and that’s comforting, too.
Your body will thrive in its relaxed state. Certain things that were painful will start to subside. In turn, meditation causes an endorphin release in the brain, much like the effect of working out. The result is feeling good.
It’s easy to forget about yourself. Not the type of self that gets treated with a fancy dinner or a nice gift. The self between the eyes. The quiet core. A place only you can nourish. Think about your cell phone. You use it for multiple things throughout the day and drain its battery. At night, you plug it in to charge, so it has full power the next day. Our bodies work the same way. But we need more attention than just sleep. A deep inner focus recharges and energizes our body, mind and spirit.
Meditation is a calm and quiet act. There are no violating or concerning elements. It is a silent retreat. That stillness generates peace. Peace makes a calmer and happier you. Why meditation works is simply cause and effect. Studies will continue to give scientific details as to how and why meditation works, but for now, just remember that giving yourself time to meditate will work for you, too.
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