Benefits of meditation. Meditation has been the focus of thousands of studies over the past 50 years. Today we’re going to take a look at the top six benefits adopting a meditation habit can have for you. The first benefit is that it physically changes your brain. A study conducted in 2011 at Harvard, led by a dr. Sarah Lazar, found that meditating for just eight weeks increases your brain size in three crucial areas. The left hippocampus, which is responsible for your ability to learn as well as your ability to retain information, the posterior cingulate, which is involved in your ability to control where your mind wanders, and the temporal parental junction, which is responsible for empathy and compassion. Meditation doesn’t only grow the good parts of your brain. The same study found that after eight weeks of meditation, there were also decreases in cell volume in the amygdala, which is the area of your brain that is responsible for fear, anxiety and stress. The second benefit of meditation is that it reduces bad feelings. To further expand on the last point made they have been numerous studies that looks only at the effects of meditation on emotions such as stress depression and anxiety. Now stress isn’t inherently bad for you in fact the little stress is actually healthy for you. However there are many people who stressed too much and this can cause serious health problems. A study in 2004 found that meditation can help you better manage as well as dramatically decreased the negative side effects of stress. A recent study published on JAMA internal medicine by Professor Willem Kuyken worked with people who suffer from depression. Kuyken found mindfulness meditation helped people quote just as much as commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs and quote people undergoing to study had a thirty-one percent less of a chance of relapsing. A similar study in 2014 managed by a dr. Elizabeth Hoge worked with people diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. She found that meditating for just eight weeks dramatically reduce the anxiety symptoms. And if all these studies still aren’t enough to convince you that meditation reduces bad feelings, researchers of John Hopkins published a paper on JAMA internal medicine in which they reviewed over 19,000 meditation studies. And they came to the conclusion that meditation helps ease depression and anxiety. The third benefit of meditation is that it helps you overcome bad habits. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain that is responsible for willpower. A study conducted in 2015 found that meditation stimulates growth in this part of your brain. A study in 2014 conducted by a dr. Sarah Bowen separated a large group of alcoholics into two smaller groups. One group was taught mindfulness meditation while the other followed your typical 12-step program. They found that only eight percent of participants in the mindfulness meditation program reported relapsing a year later. As compared to twenty percent of participants in the 12-step program reported relapsing a year later. The fourth benefit of meditation is that it increases your ability to concentrate and focus. A study in 2010 conducted by a dr. Catherine MacLean of the university of California Davis had subjects perform extremely boring tasks such as looking for small differences in lines. She found that the group who underwent meditation during the course of the study performed significantly better. Suggesting that meditation increases your ability to concentrate. Another study conducted at the University of Washington by a professor dr. Levy found that meditation increase the length of which workers were able to concentrate on a single task. The fifth benefit of meditation is that it is extremely healthy. A study conducted on older adults at the university of california los angeles found that meditation decreased amount of c-reactive protein in the blood, which directly correlates with the development of heart disease. This same study found a drop in inflammation in the body. Another study conducted at the Benson Henry Institute for mind-body medicine in Boston looked at a group of hypertension patients. They discovered with just three months of meditation practice, the patients were able to drastically decrease their blood pressure. The most mind-blowing of all was a study conducted in 2010 by Nobel prize winner, Elizabeth Blackburn. She found that meditation had the effect on your body and a genetic level. They found that meditation could protect the length of your telomeres. For those of you who don’t know what telomeres are, short telomeres are a marker for accelerated aging. This is evidence that meditation may slow down the process of aging. And finally but definitely not least, the sixth benefit of meditation is that makes you happier. In a famous study conducted in 2004 by a dr. Richard Davidson, he placed electrodes on the heads of monks, who are practitioners of meditation for years. He discovered that the monks had 30 times the normal amount of gamma waves, which are associated with intelligence, compassion, self-control and feelings of happiness in the brain. Another study published in 2008 in the journal of personality and social psychology by Professor Barbara Fredrickson, stated that the results show that a meditation practice produce positive emotions that increased over time as you practiced it on a daily basis. So it’s no surprise why some of the top performers of the world today like CEOs, sports teams and entrepreneurs are all jumping on the meditation bandwagon. There’s just so many positive benefits. In our next video we’re going to talk about exactly how to meditate, so you can reap all of these benefits. So if you liked the video, if you gain some value. Please subscribe. Click that little bell icon on the bottom (so you don’t miss the next video) and stay tuned.