Meditation is scientifically supported in the benefits it can give you, in all areas of your life. It can be still used as a tool for profound spiritual transformation, and as a means of aligning yourself with the natural forces around us.
Monk Thich Nhat Hanh says: “Meditation is not to escape from society, but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on.”
Scientists are now learning that we have the power to elevate our own baseline happiness levels, and one of the most powerful ways to do so is through meditation. A study in Detroit found that when employees did a 1-hour meditation program a week they reported increases in positive emotions. They also felt like they had more purpose in life and increased mindfulness.
- Meditation improves focus and memory: The University of California studied 48 undergrads and found out that those who took additional meditation classes for two weeks had much improved results on their GREs (Graduate Record Examinations), as their cognitive function had improved.
- Meditation improves creativity: Psychologists from Leiden University discovered that novice and experienced meditators alike can gain increased creative thinking through meditation, especially Open Monitoring meditation (discussed in the next section). This makes them receptive to new ideas.
- Meditation enhances your immune system: Our immune systems respond to both positive and negative thoughts. Studies have found that positive thoughts (which are increased by meditation) reduce pro-inflammatory gene expression in adults. An incredible find was that HIV positive patients who practice meditation actually maintain their CD-4 immune cells for longer. These are the cells that prevent HIV from spreading further.
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