Practicing meditation has been linked to a lot of health benefits such as relief from stress, lowering of blood pressure and cancer treatment. Meditation is all about positive mental deliberation and reflection to get rid of troublesome fixations. Since scientific analysis and research proved the benefits of meditation, more and more doctors have started recommending it. Many people have been benefitted by the practice for several years and now, recent research points to a definite benefit in curing psychiatric disorder.
The following examples show how meditation practitioners keep the psychiatric disorders at bay:
- According to Yale university professor of psychiatry, Judson A. Brewer, meditation helps to resolve people’s preoccupation with their own thoughts, this being a part of philosophical and contemplative practices for centuries. They conducted a study on experienced and new meditation practitioners, and conducted MRI scans of their brain. It was found that experienced practitioners unconsciously decrease the activity in the default mode network of the brain. This region of the brain is associated with anxiety, ADHD, and also the build up of amyloid-plaque that causes Alzheimer’s disease.
- Moreover, not only the default mode network was rendered less active, the researchers also found that those areas of the brain that are linked to brain control and self-monitoring also get activated. This effect of meditation has a definitive link to resolving self-obsessed thoughts as well preventing the mind from wandering. These disorders are symptoms of psychiatric disorders called schizophrenia and autism.
- A research carried out in University of Kentucky on meditation practitioners, who practiced for only 40 minutes, showed that their cortical walls were thicker than those who did not meditate. This is very relevant for dementia patients. Thicker cortical walls mean that the brain of those patients was ageing at a slower rate than normal. Attention span, decision making ability and memory are dependent on cortical thickness.
Cognitive therapy which involves replacing the negative thoughts of a patient with positive ones is more popular in western countries as compared to meditation. Although it is very important to start feeling positive, this therapy does not offer anything to silence the incessant wavering of mind. Meditation offers a scientifically proven method of doing just that. It empowers the practitioner to positively affirm good thoughts over bad or negative thoughts without the help of the cognitive therapist. So, it is a bit like, you become a witness of your own thoughts and let them free from your mind, instead of clutching at them.
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