Business Insider: How Meditation Changes the Brain

In case you missed it, Business Insider reported on the nine surprising ways meditation changes your brain (though if you’ve been meditating at Ziva for a while, this is probably not so surprising). More and more research lately is supporting what meditators have known for thousands of years: that meditation can drastically improve how we think, feel, live, love and relate to each other. The article is chock full of scientific evidence and we just can’t get enough. 

It even talks about how mindfulness meditation (at Ziva we teach a different kind of meditation, but we build on our powerful practice with mindfulness techniques) is most beneficial for people with high-demand schedules. Let’s check out some of the highlights of the findings…

  1. Meditation helps us gain perspective. Meditation helps you to observe your thoughts and feelings as temporary, objective events, helping us stay in the present moment and not view negative events as permanent. 
  2. It appears to improve our ability to focus by blocking out other disturbances. At Ziva we teach our students to be self-sufficient meditators and the practice can be done anywhere, from the subway car to the waiting room at the doctor’s office. A new study proves that this skill is not limited to just when you’re in the chair.
  3. Meditation can also reduce stress by helping us deal with negative feelings we might otherwise ignore. While meditation is an amazing tool, life still happens. Things aren’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows, and at Ziva we talk about how meditators feel things more intensely, but move through feelings quicker.
  4. It may also help improve our memory, though researchers aren’t sure precisely how. People come to Ziva all the time for different reasons; one in particular came to us after tying to learn a new language for two months and ending each day in tears. After she started meditating she was able to absorb the information much more quickly, and less than a year later she began teaching the language she had been trying to learn!
  5. It may strengthen our ability to relate to others. Ancient sages have been saying for thousands of years that there is only one thing and we are all it. The analogy they use is that we are all different waves on one giant ocean of consciousness. In March of 2013, scientists discovered something called the Higgs boson particle, a.k.a., the “God” Particle. So far, the Higgs boson particle is the smallest thing we can detect — it is just a wave — and it means that I am simply a collection of Higgs boson particles shaped like me, and your computer is just a collection of Higgs boson particles shaped like a computer. Meditation helps us to truly understand this and see ourselves in each other.
  6. People with a steady meditation practice also see decreases in blood pressure. zivaFAMILY member and brain expert Max Lugavere talks about the power of meditation to enhance your brain heath and even to reduce inflammation in your body that research has shown leads to many of the chronic diseases we deal with today.
  7. Meditators experience less fatigue. More energy is the number one benefit our zivaGRADS report. The style of meditation we teach at Ziva gives the body deep rest that is 5x deeper than sleep. It removes stress on a cellular level, leaving you with more energy to do the things you love.
  8. Meditators may get sick less frequently than those who don’t meditate regularly. When your body gets the rest that it needs in meditation, it is better able to handle demands as they come up. Ziva’s founder Emily Fletcher didn’t get sick for eight years after she started her meditation practice.
  9. There’s also some evidence that suggests that regular meditation can help prevent some genetic damage. 

To veteran meditators, it is no surprise that meditation changes your brain. These are exciting but unsurprising results, as many have experienced additional benefits including lower stress, better sex, improved immune function, better performance at work, and more.

Read the full Business Insider article here.

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