• Neuroplasticity Sustained meditation helps the brain to change, structurally and functionally, in new situations, allowing us to change our ways far into adulthood (challenging the long-held notion that adults cannot change their brains)
  • It increases gray matter A 2005 study on American men and women who meditated for 40 minutes a day showed that they had thicker cortical walls than non-meditators—it means their brains were aging at a slower rate. The cortical wall is also associated with decision-making, focus, and memory
  • It rivals antidepressants in helping with anxiety and depression A study at Johns Hopkins found that mindfulness meditation was just as effective as antidepressants in dealing with these symptoms
  • Even a few days of meditating can help with concentration A recent study showed that just two weeks of meditating before study sessions helped GRE test-takers to increase their scores by 16 percentile points
  • It can reduce blood pressure In 2008 a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital asked 60 patients with high blood pressure to try a 3-month mindfulness meditation program, and at the end of it, 40 out of 60 of them had significantly lowered their blood pressure
  • It reduces pain A study at Wake Forest University showed that meditation can reduce pain unpleasantness by 57 percent, and pain intensity by 40 percent.  Even morphine typically shows a pain intensity reduction of only 25 percent.
  • It makes you kinder A study at Northeastern University showed that meditators are more likely than non-meditators to offer their chairs to disabled people in a medical waiting room

scienceofmeditation