It has been said many times over many years: Meditation is an integral part of your health and well-being. While it is true that meditation is right for your body and your spirit. But not many people are aware of the fact that meditation is great for your mind too.
Often overlooked, medical professionals around the globe are starting to notice the eerie relationship between meditation cure and psychotherapy. For reasons science does not yet fully understand, one thing is widely accepted:
The more you meditate, the better your mental health will be.
Meditation Cure – What Meditation Can Do?
An indisputable fact is that meditation cure (when practiced often) physically changes your brain. Not only does it change a number of hormones produced. Meditation can affect our brainwaves and the structure of our brains too.
After an eight week course in mindfulness meditation, neurologists observed, using MRI scans, the following:
- Meditation Changes How You Perceive Fear
The amygdala- better known as the brain’s fight or flight control center- decreased in size. In other words, meditation can, in fact, make you fearless.
- Meditation Changes How You Think
Along with the shrinking of the amygdala, the pre-frontal cortex (responsible for concentration, decision making, awareness, and reasoning) grew bigger, thereby increasing the participants’ ability to focus and exercise logic.
- Meditation Changes How You Feel Pain
It’s quite odd, but those who meditate reported feeling less pain than those who don’t, however, in the scans, the brains of those who practiced mindfulness showed more activity in the pain centers. This leads to the assumption that those who meditate can control pain, while those who do not, cannot.
- Meditation Changes How You Sleep
It not only produces more melatonin in your body but also strengthens the Pons- the part of your brain responsible for both the production of melatonin and REM sleep.
- Meditation Changes Your Point of View
Those who meditate emit brainwaves associated with happiness, optimism, and positivity. Those who don’t generally emit brainwaves concerned with negative emotions, fear, and stress.
But what does meditation’s ability to change the brain have to do with its power to correct, reduce or alleviate symptoms of mental health disorders? Is it even possible to treat severe conditions with meditation cure?
Meditation for Mental Health
The answer is yes. Meditation is fast become a practice that doctors around the globe are recommending to patients for a whole number of ailments from faster recovery against the common cold, to rehabilitation, to psychology.
There is too much research available to ignore the profound effects of meditation on the mind, body, and soul and rather than disregarding it. Meditation cure is starting to coincide with modern medicine to maximize the health benefits for the patient. This is being implemented in the world of mental health as well, and many people are starting to confirm that meditation helped them through severe psychological conditions.
A study published in The Lancet reported that meditation-based cognitive behavioral therapy was just as effective at treating disorders. Such as anxiety and depression as antidepressants are, and so more and more people are turning to it.
But even in moving away from cognitive therapy (something not very many people are open to trying) DIY meditation still has benefits when it comes to mental health.
First and foremost, what needs to be understood is that depression is not merely sadness. It is a severe problem in which the sufferer’s brain cannot produce the hormones and waves required to feel emotion. This leads to damaging psychological effects. But research shows that meditation cure can alleviate the symptoms of depression in some ways including:
Boosting your neurotransmitters in the same way that antidepressants do, flooding your system with serotonin and dopamine (the happy chemicals) and strengthening the hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for memory and orientation, which depression hinders).
It Reduces Anxiety
This works in two parts. As mentioned above. Meditation cure decreases the size of the amygdala. Changing how we experience fear and of course other negative emotions associated with it. Such as worry, anxiety, and concern. But as with depression, anxiety can be understood on a chemical level.
Those who struggle with chronic anxiety most likely have an influx of harmful (or at the very least, unnecessary) chemicals: Cortisol and Adrenaline. Adrenaline is not a toxic chemical to have- it tells us when we are in danger, and triggers the fight or flight response mentioned earlier. But when someone suffers from anxiety, there is too much adrenaline in the system, and so your brain tricks you into being afraid all the time.
Cortisol is the stress hormone, another resident when it comes to anxiety. Meditation can rid the body of both, by not only flushing them out but by replacing them (as mentioned) with dopamine, melatonin, and serotonin.
It Can Ward off Alzheimer’s
Because meditation cure strengthens the hippocampus, it’s only natural that it improves your memory too. But it’s not just that which aids in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Meditation slows the aging of the body and the brain, by promoting cell regeneration. There is also a correlation between stress and the onset of Alzheimer’s.
So, since meditation cure relieves stress, it reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s too. Furthermore, research has shown that meditation not only strengthens our brains. But it also protects them too by enhancing the brain’s protective tissues.
It Can Overcome PTSD
It’s no surprise that the parts of the brain responsible for PTSD (and also phobias and panic) are the same ones affected by anxiety and depression. The amygdala and the hippocampus. However, there is one other, the pre-frontal cortex (mentioned above). Not only does it take charge of reasoning, logic, and concentration, the pre-frontal cortex is the area of your brain that controls impulses, behavior, and emotions.
When suffering from PTSD, the pre-frontal cortex is significantly underactive and cannot override the desires of the amygdala and the hippocampus. But meditation corrects this, by strengthening and stabilizing the pre-frontal cortex, thereby making it far easier to control emotions, thoughts, and fears that were previously chaotic.
It Combats Addiction
And so it’s only natural that with the combination of the physical changes in the brain and the spiritual changes and the shift in mindset that meditation brings, self-control is a far more possible thing.
Whether it’s a food addiction, nicotine, alcohol or more harmful substances, or a behavioral addiction, for example, gambling, or online shopping. Meditation’s roots in psychotherapy and proven many times that those who practice it become more self-aware, more responsible and more balanced, centered and controlled.
For this reason, meditation cure is being used as a form of rehabilitation- one that works well.
Disclaimer: Modern medicine has worked miracles for many people. If you are struggling with any of the conditions listed above. Meditation might help you, but it’s important to remember that it might not. Always consult with your medical practitioner before changing or stopping courses of medication or altering rehabilitative programmes.