New Scientific Studies Find Numerous Health Benefits to Meditation

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Mindfulness meditation techniques can be a powerful way for individuals to improve their brain power and promote bodily health.
Centuries of experience has shown that these methods are among the most effective for living a healthy, fulfilled life.
Now, scientific investigation is bearing out these benefits.
For example, a team of researchers from the Justus Liebig-University in Germany recently reported in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science that meditation techniques can have a range of health benefits because it brings a person's consciousness back into the present.
Throughout the course of a day, a large percentage of a person's thoughts deal with either the past or the future.
There are relatively few instances in which an individual's thoughts are completely focused on the present.
However, this is how stress, anxiety and negative emotions build and interfere with a person's happiness and well-being.
Thoughts of 'what if' enter the mind, taking one out of the moment and into the future, something one cannot control and therefore the very thought itself produces anxiety, stress and negativity.
After reviewing the findings of previously published investigations into the health benefits of meditation, the researchers found that the practice primarily benefits brain health by making the mind more plastic.
This means that it is more capable of adapting to new experiences and learning new information.
The researchers explained that meditation works in four ways: it regulates attention, creates a sense of body awareness, regulates emotion and changes a person's perception of their self.
Achieving this state of mind can have numerous health benefits.
"The nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment, produces beneficial effects on well-being and ameliorates psychiatric and stress-related symptoms," the team wrote in their report.
"Mindfulness meditation has therefore increasingly been incorporated into psychotherapeutic interventions.
" There are many meditation techniques that can benefit a person.
The present study focused primarily on mindfulness meditation, in which a person seeks to become more aware of each thought in their head.
This enables them to quiet the background noise and eliminate negative thoughts.
Other methods may include guided meditation, in which an instructor helps participants focus their attention on predetermined ideas, and chakra meditation, which involves concentrating on specific areas of the body.
All of these meditation techniques have been shown to have significant health benefits.
This may come as no surprise to those who have been practicing meditation for years, but the new scientific findings may help to validate the benefits of the practice for skeptical individuals.
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