Scientific Evidence On Meditation
When you see a person sitting on the floor, legs crossed, eyes closed and humming a syllable rhythmically – you often wonder to yourself if this is all for show. More and more people are meditating and they say that it makes them feel better, it helps them focus and it helps calm them down and they may have a point.
Consider that meditation is an ancient spiritual activity. Buddhist monks do it; Catholic nuns and monks do it and even Christians claim to meditate on the Holy Bible.
But, more important is that everyday people all around you do it as well, including, moms, dads, teenagers, athletes, personal trainers, and corporate executives.
Meditation is focusing the mind on a thought. Most people who meditate say that they use the time to calmly sort out and label the thoughts and feelings they are experiencing.
A study of nuns in a Canadian convent was made in the 1990s because the nuns there all seem to live to an average age of 100. They are physically active even at their advanced age and they are mentally alert. The researchers noted that these nuns went to bed at an early hour, they ate food they grew in the convent garden, they scrubbed floors, walked for miles to visit the sick and to teach children in the farming community around their convent. They also did crossword puzzles, read, played musical instruments, sang, prayed and they meditated.
Recently, a California university has completed a study of the benefits of meditation. The researchers found that when people undergo a stressful situation, a part of their brain goes on overdrive. When they breathe deeply and slowly and take quiet time to process the situation they are in: labeling the thoughts and emotions they are experiencing, that part of their brain called the amygdala calms down.