Did you know that we have the power to change our mind, and that one of the best ways to do this is through meditation ?
This was reported in an interesting article published in the Scientific American journal and written by Matthieu Ricard (Buddhist monk and cell biologist), Antoine Lutz (leading exponent in the study of neurobiology and meditation) and Richard J. Davidson (pioneer in the study of the science of meditation ).
The University of Wisconsin, in collaboration with 19 other universities, has carried out a study on the subject, which lasted almost 15 years and carried out in more than 100 monasteries of Buddhist monks. The study compared scans of brains subjected to tens of thousands of hours of meditation, and the results were surprising :
– The levels of anxiety and depression are lowered.
– The areas of the brain associated with feelings of empathy, compassion and selfless love are activated.
– The volume of the amygdala, the region of the brain involved in the generation of fear, is reduced.
– Positive effects are noted on the telomerase molecule, responsible for elongating the DNA segments at the ends of chromosomes; it is the enzyme that promotes the immortality of cells in most cancerous processes.
Incredible, right? At this point, we can ask ourselves if meditation should not be a regular habit to be included in our daily activities, if we want to improve the quality of our life. Slowly we are all starting to understand that it is important to follow a healthy diet, do some physical activity and abandon bad habits such as smoking or alcohol: perhaps we should also consider starting to practice meditation!
Anxiety, stress, depression and cancer are the great evils of our century. And, on the other hand, referring to the benefits of meditation mentioned above, who doesn’t feel the need to become a little more selfless and empathetic in a competitive society, which sometimes sucks us into this vortex?
How can we start practicing meditation for the first time?
We offer some guidelines to help you.
Reading a book on meditation written by an expert can be a first step. We advise you to go to the bookstore and ask your trusted book for advice or to carry out online research on the best guides to the practice of meditation and the Mindfulness method: the options will not be lacking!
Sign up for a meditation class. There are several free courses, which often include room and board. If you feel that the course was worth it, you can make a donation at the end of the course according to your possibilities.
Learning to meditate on your own:
– Choose a quiet place where no one interrupts you.
– Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.
– Take deep breaths, releasing the air slowly. To focus, you can shift your attention to your breathing or belly. If you are a curious person, experiment and choose the type of meditation that best suits your personality: Zen meditation, Vipassana meditation, etc. We invite you to explore the different possibilities!
Be consistent and train every day in the practice of meditation. Start with 15 or 20 minutes, you will realize that it will gradually become part of your daily activities and you will notice its benefits.
Thanks to meditation, we can feel more relaxed, we accept ourselves better and we will be able to avoid negative and / or repetitive thoughts.