The Science Behind Meditation

There are more than 150 conclusive studies that have demonstrated the positive impacts that meditation and mindfulness have on relaxation, sleep, stress, anxiety, depression, focus, creativity and emotional equilibrium, among others.

These results are produced because meditation and mindfulness practices have a direct impact on the brain — an analysis of data from 20 different studies suggests that eight different brain regions [are] consistently altered in meditators (Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. Read more).

Here are some examples of the research:

Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density

"Analyses in a priori regions of interest confirmed increases in gray matter concentration within the left hippocampus. Whole brain analyses identified increases in the posterior cingulate cortex, the temporo-parietal junction, and the cerebellum in the MBSR group compared to the controls. The results suggest that participation in MBSR is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking."

- Psychiatry Research. Read more.

Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation

"This article shows that a group randomly assigned to 5 days of meditation practice with the integrative body-mind training method shows significantly better attention and control of stress than a similarly chosen control group given relaxation training.”

- National Academy of Sciences, USA. Read more.

The value of mindfulness meditation in the treatment of insomnia

"Randomized controlled studies of MBSR and MBTI have shown overall reduction in sleep latency and total wake time and increase in total sleep time after mindfulness therapy using both patient reported outcome and quantitative measures of sleep."

- Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine. Read more.

Mind full of ideas: A meta-analysis of the mindfulness–creativity link

"Mindfulness improves people's functioning in many areas, but its relationship with creativity is equivocal. To assess the link between mindfulness and creativity, we present a multilevel meta-analysis of 89 correlations obtained from 20 samples in studies published between 1977 and 2015 and demonstrate a statistically significant, but relatively weak correlation (r = .22) between these two constructs."

- Science Direct. Read more.

For a more comprehensive list of effects, check out this article that covers
76 benefits of meditation.