Ancient practice. Modern application.
For thousands of years, people have reaped the benefits of meditation practices. Now, researchers from Harvard, Stanford and Johns Hopkins, among others, are using technologies like neuroimaging and genomics to learn how this powerful practice supports one's brain and body. Here's what they found:
Meditation strengthens attention, reflection and self-awareness while reducing discursive thinking and rumination on past and future.
Meditation activates brain regions that reduce worry and stress while improving concentration, memory, and well-being.
Meditation develops emotion regulation, helping practitioners overcome mental illness and addictive, negative thinking and behaviors.
Meditation develops brain regions responsible for observation and focus, helping practitioners to live full, present lives.
Meditation can reverse heart disease and hypertension, and has the power to switch stress and immune genes on and off.
Meditation develops the "empathy centers" of the brain responsible for compassion and ego-centered thoughts.