Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory. Suppose, finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it? The pill exists. It is meditation.

Jonathan Haidt

There are many scientific studies on the effects of meditation. A study from the year 2004, in which monks from the circle of the Dalai Lama were examined, became well-known.[1] Very interesting results and exclusively positive effects of meditation were determined:

  • Amazing activation of the left prefrontal cortex: Science has found that when a person is unhappy, depressed or anxious, the right side is active in the front part of the brain. If someone is happy, joyful or content, the left side of the front brain is active. In most people, the two sides of the brain are approximately equally active. Scientists have measured the activity of the Dalai Lama’s meditating Tibetan monks. The result was amazing: The activity in the left prefrontal cortex was several times more pronounced than in an average person. This means that these Tibetan monks experience a lot of contentment, joy and happiness in their lives and hardly any negative feelings.
    Shock reaction: The scientists wanted to find out how shocked the Tibetan monks are in a meditation. They suddenly made a loud noise. So far, science has assumed that everyone has a fright reaction and that it cannot be suppressed. Even soldiers who were used to hearing shots in their surroundings still had a fright reaction. Even if it was very small. The Tibetan monks, on the other hand, no longer reacted at all. This was a remarkable result and it was the first documentation of people completely without a fright reaction in the history of mankind.
    They don’t have to meditate for decades like Tibetan monks do. No, meditation works fast. This is the result of another very well-known study. It was conducted by John Kabat-Zinn and Herbert Benson. It was not about experienced meditators, but about complete newcomers. They had to participate in an 8-week meditation program as part of the study. The participants meditated for 45 minutes daily. The effects of the meditation were impressive:
  • Stress and fears were reduced.
  • All in all, the participants enjoyed more satisfaction and happiness.
  • An astonishing result was that within this short time the brain has changed. Until the beginning of this millennium, science was of the opinion that the brain would not change at all after the fourth year of life. Now it could be determined that within only eight weeks the brain changes positively through meditation.
  • The meditators and a control group were injected with pathogens for a cold. The scientists found that there was a clear difference between the meditation group and the control group: meditators became significantly less ill. This means that meditation even has a positive effect on the immune system.

Recent studies have shown that meditation has positive effects even after one week. In summary, meditation has the following positive effects (Link:

  • Less stress
  • emotional stability and optimism
  • improved mindfulness and patience
  • better memory, increased concentration and higher mental flexibility
  • increased intuition and body perception,
  • Slowing down the aging process
  • quality sleep
  • decreased pain perception
  • low blood pressure
  • Improvement of the immune system
  • Lowering the cholesterol level
  • positive course of migraine attacks.

As you can see, meditation is a “Swiss Army Knife”. It is worth meditating.

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