The benefits of Meditation in relation to anxiety

A post by Dr Mercola includes a section on ‘The Benefits of Meditation’ in relation to anxiety. you can find it HERE

The Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is another option that can help you combat anxiety in the long-term. One style of meditation is mindfulness—a directed-attention, waking state practice in which you keep bringing your attention back to the now. It’s a practice of single-tasking, originally developed for monks, who remain focused on the present moment in all activities. Besides improving your focus and boosting your mental cognition, mindfulness training helps relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.

If you think about it, nothing is uncertain in the NOW. You know exactly where you are and what you’re doing right this very moment, so by focusing on your direct experience in the present, uncertainty-driven anxiety can be reduced. With practice, you’ll likely lower your “intolerance of uncertainty” score.

It’s now becoming more well-known that meditation actually changes your brain.16 The increased calm and quiet you feel is not an imaginary effect. Neuroscientist Sara Lazar has used brain scans to look at the meditating brain, which shows that long-term meditators have an increased amount of gray matter in the insula and sensory regions. They also have more gray matter in the frontal cortex, an area associated with memory and executive decision making.

After just eight weeks, people who took part in a mindfulness meditation study, meditating 40 minutes per day, were able to shrink their amygdala—the part of your brain that governs your fight or flight response, and plays a significant role in anxiety, fear, and general stress. A smaller amygdala correlates to reduced stress and anxiety.

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