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Meditation - Positive Benefits

According to researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of California, San Francisco, meditation has many positive psychological benefits, including increased stress management skills and an increased overall sense of well-being. These positive changes that occur during meditation are associated with greater activity of telomerase, an enzyme important for the long-term health of cells in the body. Telomerase has been associated with a reversal or slowing down of the aging process as well as an improvement in immune function. Meditators demonstrated the greatest improvement on various psychological measures (e.g., observing one's experience in a nonreactive manner) and purpose in life (viewing one's life as meaningful, worthwhile, and aligned with long-term goals and values) and had higher levels of telomerase than non meditators (UC Davis News and Information, 2010).

Neuroscientists have found that meditators mentally shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex. In other words, brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression, fear, and anxiety (Allen, 2016).

The following psychological changes occur with regular meditation practice:

  • Improved mental and emotional health

  • Reduced perception of stress

  • Reduced anxiety and depression

  • Increased degree of self-actualization

  • Increased locus of control

  • Improved sleep

  • Decreased tendency to worry

  • Improved concentration and focus

  • Enhanced feelings of happiness

  • Increased sense of peace and well-being

  • Increased awareness and spiritual calm

  • Decreased fear

  • Increased mindfulness

  • Decreased psychological “rumination”

  • Increased ability to regulate behavior

  • Increased resilience and adaptability

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