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UCLA, Yale and John Hopkins Have Amazing Reasons to Meditate

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Now don’t get us wrong, traditional meditation may not be for everyone, and meditation might look a little different for each person. For Camila, meditation comes in the form of breathwork and breathing exercises, for MaMac, it’s staring at a sunset — Suffice it to say, there is no one perfect way to meditate.

Mind-Blowing Meditation Statistics

  1. It’s estimated that 200–500 million people meditate worldwide
  2. Increased Grey Matter – (Give the benefits of increased Grey matter, “More gray matter is associated with better cognitive function, while decreases in gray matter are associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias,” said Shannon Halloway, PhD.
  3. Over 14% of Americans have meditated at least once.
  4. Meditation improves anxiety levels 60% of the time.
  5. Meditation can reduce the wake time of people with insomnia.
  6. Anyone can meditate (Scroll down to learn more)

[Above stats from disturbmenot]

Scientists estimate that somewhere between 200 and 500 million people worldwide engage in the practice of meditation. Many of us have heard before that there are big benefits to meditation — The most common one being a reduction in stress.

Meditation has also been shown to help with things like insomnia and increasing focus. When we went digging for some more ways meditation can actually change the body, we found three amazing studies that show some pretty promising results.

Meditation may actually improve your physical brain matter

Scientists at UCLA found in a study was that meditation may actually improve your brain matter too.

The UCLA study found people who meditated for an average of 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout their brains. Each group in the study was made up of 28 men and 22 women ranging in age from 24 to 77. Those who meditated had been doing so for four to 46 years, with an average of 20 years.

Meditation can decrease worrying and increase happiness

A study from Yale University found that mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts – a.k.a., “monkey mind.”. Since mind-wandering is typically associated with being less happy, ruminating, and worrying about the past and future, it’s the goal for many people to dial it down. Several studies have shown that meditation, through its quieting effect on the DMN, appears to do just this. [source Forbes

Meditation can actually reduce feelings of depression, anxiety and pain

And a study from Johns Hopkins found that there is a very real connection between mindfulness meditation and its ability to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain. Researcher Madhav Goyal and his team found that the effect size of meditation was moderate, at 0.3. If this sounds low, keep in mind that the effect size for antidepressants is also 0.3, which makes the effect of meditation sound pretty good. Meditation is, after all an active form of brain training. “A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing,” says Goyal. “But that’s not true. Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.” Meditation isn’t a magic bullet for depression, as no treatment is, but it’s one of the tools that may help manage symptoms. [source Forbes

Anyone can meditate. If you’re new to the practice, try to set aside five to 10 minutes each day. Find a place where you feel calm and comfortable and won’t be disturbed. If you’re wondering where to start with meditation and how to get your practice going, we have some tips for you. First, check out these Tips for Getting Into Meditation. Second, we suggest trying out a meditation app to help guide you through the process. Calm or Headspace are both great places to start!


Have some great meditation tips to share with us? Reach out to us on the WOT Instagram or on Facebook!

by Camila Alves McConaughey