Meditation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today at Sarvodaya’s Early Morning meditation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Happiness, Mental Health And Meditation!
Hi! Here is the post I promised you. It’s a follow on to my last post. As in my previous post, “Get Happiness? Stop Daydreaming!” I’m talking about Meditation being used as a way of stopping the negative thought patterns that emerge when we allow our brains to ‘Day-dream‘. In other words how to increase your Happiness. Here is another article (Link at bottom of post) which links strongly into the previous along with my comments. Again I have put excerpts from the article in italics.
Meditation can shut off the part of the brain associated with daydreaming as well as autism, schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, according to a Yale study released Monday.
Me:- Here are more reasons why you should meditate. It helps with lots of mental disorders.
Experienced meditators ……… can quiet the brain region known as the default mode network, which consists of the medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortex. This region of the brain is responsible for lapses in attention.
Me:- The lapses in attention, or daydreaming is when the mind quite often drifts into negative ways of thinking that, again, often makes them sad, troubled or depressed i.e it stops them being Happy.
The researchers, led by Judson Brewer, an assistant professor of psychiatry, analyzed the brain activity of 24 meditators — half with thousands of hours of practice and half who were novices — with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
For the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the participants took part in three meditation exercises and their brain activity was recorded for 4 1/2 minutes. In all three exercises, the experienced meditators were able to deactivate the default mode network. The novices, however, did not change the activity in this brain region.
Me:-This has not been my experience at all. I have taught thousands of people how to meditate. Some, and I admit only a tiny ‘some,’ have had a tremendous result after one or two classes. I’m talking about mental state,positive emotions and even direction in life. And these results were permanent. To suggest that people need thousands of hours to achieve these great results is not what I know can happen.
This gives a bad impression and would stop people from trying this marvellous therapy. I feel is because all the new research that I read about is about using types of meditation that is linked to a spiritual or religious agenda.
The researchers also conducted brain imaging of the subjects with their minds at rest. Even when they weren’t meditating, the study found that the brain activity of the experienced meditators was different.. ………
Me:- I agree. If people carry on meditating, they will carry on making improvements in these skills and results.
he said, their brains were constantly suppressing urges to daydream or indulge in thoughts focused on themselves. A preoccupation with one’s own thoughts….. is a trait of such disorders as autism and schizophrenia. Brewer said more research is needed to say whether this means that meditation could ward off these disorders or be used to treat them, but he added that the results are promising. The results also suggest that meditation could help treat depression. Brewer cited earlier studies. If meditation can train the mind to focus, Brewer said, it could increase a sense of well-being.
Me:- I agree thoroughly. I would also repeat that some people show good improvement in the first couple of classes, most are doing it after 10 session and the longer they carry on meditating the stronger they will become mentally. I am talking about 30 minutes a day.
A meditator himself, Brewer said he wasn’t surprised that his study revealed the positive effects of meditation. “You get these delayed benefits that are really remarkable,” he said. “You’re less stressed, and hopefully you’re less of a jerk.”Brewer said many of his patients who struggle with nicotine addiction have successfully used meditation to kick their habits.
Earlier studies have shown that the mind wanders a fair amount. Researchers at Harvard published a study earlier this year that found up to 47 percent of our waking hours are devoted to daydreaming (http://bit.ly/dtZPhj, abstract only). So it’s no surprise that it has become a popular subject of study among neuroscientists.
Me:- More reasons to start meditating as soon as you can.
Earlier this year, for instance, a study out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that meditation was more effective at reducing pain than drugs, including morphine (http://bit.ly/fLnHKk, abstract only).
Me:- Even more reasons! LOL!
Fadel Zeidan of the department of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest, that study, said that the findings of the Yale study were plausible. While the Yale research focused on experienced meditators, Zeidan said, his study found that people could reap benefits after practicing meditation for only four days.The more studies on meditation are published, he said, the more the medical establishment will accept meditation as a form of treatment.
Me:- Exactly what I have found. The type of meditation that I do and teach has absolutely no spiritual or philosophical content at all. I believe in philosophy and spirituality but not in connections with my meditation. My type of meditation is an exercise to make my mind strong, healthy and fast moving. It is used to bring high levels of Happiness into my life.
Professor Brewer said that it would help to cure depression and he is right. It is the perfect way to bring Happiness into your life. And as you carry on, to make it stronger. When you start meditating, you will soon find that you get that feeling of Happiness after a session. But make sure that it is the right type of Meditation for getting what you want.
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Love, Peace and Happiness,
P.S Here is the link to the full article:
via Study: Meditators Shut Down Daydreaming Part Of Brain – Hartford Courant.