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Why Meditation Works

Meditating regularly over time can lead to changes in how your mind and body function.

Neurophysiological effects of meditation are among the many subtle changes we cannot directly perceive.

A scientific review identified five of the domains where meditation has been linked to beneficial neurophysiological changes:

Neurotransmitters (chemical substances produced in nerve synapses and released to transmit nerve signals to nearby cells) Neurotransmitters are involved in movement, attention, learning, reward processing, mood, memory, and much more.

Neurotransmitter effects of meditation have been found for things like improved mood, reduced anxiety, less pain sensitivity.

Endocrine system (hormones produced in endocrine glands are released into the blood stream to control different bodily functions) Endocrine system effects of meditation have been associated with things like improved mood and decreasing elevated levels of stress hormones.

Brain structure and function Effects of meditation associated with brain structure and function include things like reduced activation of the limbic system associated with negative emotions, better emotional regulation, increase in the amount of grey matter and changes in the activation of different regions of the brain.

Inflammation: Meditation over time is associated with lower levels of inflammation.

Immune system: Meditation over time is associated with improved immune system functioning.

These are only a few examples of the many neurophysiological changes that have been found to be associated with meditation.

Kasala, E. R., Bodduluru, L. N., Maneti, Y., & Thipparaboina, R. (2014). Effect of meditation on neurophysiological changes in stress mediated depression. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 20(1), 74–80.

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