As part of being human, we encounter many changes in our state of mind on a daily basis. We spend most of our lives striving for happiness, bliss, and excitement to achieve self-satisfaction. With our constant repression of our feelings, however, that can be hard to achieve.
Because of our constant negligence of ourselves, a slight incident can cause intense vexation to an otherwise serene person. In fact, a lot of people would rather suppress their negative emotions rather than deal with them. We need to connect with our emotions in order to have a better understanding of ourselves. Luckily, we’ve managed to find a solution for each predicament we might face. The solution is meditation.
A study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found that the density of grey matter increases in the hippocampus – a part of the limbic system, the area of the brain that is associated with memory, emotions, and motivation – through meditation.
Additional health benefits have been observed as well. Meditating regularly can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. According to Dr. Herbert Benson, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, meditating naturally activates disease-fighting genes. Meditation also evokes The Relaxation Response, “A physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress,” as Dr. Benson explained. The Relaxation Response was proven to ease stress-related problems. Consequently, it helps in treating sleep disorders since they are linked to stress.
Psychologists from the University of Exeter published a study about Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which works hand-in-hand with counselling and other types of therapy to aid in treating depression. The Exeter group conducted an experiment on people suffering from depression. Four months later, three-quarters of the patients stopped using antidepressant drugs. The idea of MBCT is closely tied to meditation, in the way that both encourage psychological progression.