Not all health solutions are about what you eat and how you physically exercise. Some exercise is mental and it purposely involves no physical activity. Meditation isn’t just relaxing, it can expand your intellect as well. While you build bigger muscles with weights, you build a bigger brain with the relaxation methods of meditation.
“In meditation, effort must be applied in a direction opposite to what we are used to. Our effort must be to relax ever more deeply,” says John Novak, author of Lessons in Meditation.
There’s physical evidence of these brain-expanding benefits. The researchers from the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging used a high-resolution, three-dimensional form of MRI and two different approaches to measure differences in brain structure.
The researchers found significantly larger cerebral measurements in meditators. Specific areas of growth included larger volumes of the right hippocampus and increased gray matter in the right orbito-frontal cortex, the right thalamus, and the left inferior temporal lobe.
Since these areas of the brain are linked to emotion, it could be the direct link to why meditators tend to handle emotional situations with more calm than the rest of us.
Meditation doesn’t have to be costly. There are free resources online, including www.how-to-meditate.org.
(via: Psych Central)
July 9th, 2009