We live in a busy, complex and fast paced world. Our highly competitive and comparative culture has created record-level increases in stress and anxiety. We're all expected to do more in less time. More than ever, people are seeking ways to upgrade their physical and mental health. In the same way that physical exercise takes care of our bodies, meditation is a powerful tool to strengthen our minds. Research shows that a consistent meditation practice can enhance creativity, lengthen your attention span, help you sleep and leave you more fulfilled. Over time, the benefits of meditation can extend to all areas of your personal and professional life.
There's an ever-growing body of scientific research demonstrating the myriad benefits of meditation. A consistent practice can physically reshape our brain for the better. A study by Harvard Neuroscientist Dr. Sara Lazar found that in just 8 weeks several areas in the meditating brain strengthened. This includes areas related to learning, memory, emotional regulation and decision-making. Other regions related to fear, stress and anxiety shrunk. Dr. Lazar also found that the more meditation experience a person had under their belt, the more highly developed the regions were.
Regular meditators are more resilient to stress. Research from Harvard Medical School found that 8 weeks of meditation can positively change brain structure. It impacts a part of the brain related to anxiety, fear and stress. Over time, meditation can train your brain to become less reactive to negative events, helping you respond with a calmer and clearer mind.
Meditators are able to pay attention for longer. Our minds wander about 50% of the time. A study from University of California Santa Barbara shows that meditation can reduce mental distractions and increase concentration levels. An attentive mind completes tasks with greater efficiency and clarity, leading to increased productivity.
Meditation works to optimise your mind. An optimised mind equals elevated performance. A UCLA School of Medicine study discovered that meditation strengthens and thickens the nerve tracts that connect different hemispheres of the brain. This can lead to an increase in creativity, clearer memory, the ability to learn new skills quicker and countless other benefits.
When it comes to sleep, quality can be more valuable than quantity. A finding by JAMA Internal Medicine shows meditation can help fight insomnia and improve your quality of sleep. The practice can help you break the train of everyday thoughts, calm active minds and help you sink deeper into a state of rest and relaxation.