The Benefits of Meditation - A Few Studies
From the article “Why Meditate?”
By Deepak Chopra, M.D.
A 2011 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal found that full-time workers who spent a few hours each week practicing mindfulness meditation reported a significant decrease in job stress, anxiety, and depressed mood.
A major study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that after only eight weeks of meditation, participants experienced beneficial growth in the brain areas associated with memory, learning, empathy, self-awareness, and stress regulation (the insula, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex). In addition, the meditators reported decreased feelings of anxiety and greater feelings of calm. This study adds to the expanding body of research about the brain’s amazing plasticity and ability to change habitual stress patterns.
Research conducted by the UCLA Mindful Awareness Center showed that teenagers and adults with ADHD who practiced various forms of meditation for just eight weeks improved their ability to concentrate on tasks, even when attempts were made to distract them.
A pivotal study led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, found that participants who underwent a short, intensive meditation program were less depressed, anxious, and stressed, while also experiencing greater compassion and awareness of others’ feelings.
A study conducted by Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that participants who attended four 20-minute training sessions over the course of four days experienced a sharp reduction in their sensitivity to pain. In fact, the reduction in pain ratings was significantly greater than that found in similar studies involving placebo pills, morphine, and other painkilling drugs.