Why meditation makes you happy, according to science
Life is filled with stressful situations and decisions we need to make. And, whoever is telling you that they are living a life without the stress, they are surely lying to you! And, with all the stress around a lot of people let it take control of their lives and it starts affecting their overall health as well as their mood and how they are feeling. On the other hand, there are those of us that are trying to take control of the stress and are keeping it from taking control of our lives. They are not letting their daily stressors to get the better of them by trying to battle them using various ways. One of those ways that are a great way of fighting stress is meditation. And, today we are going to talk about the ways that meditation will keep you happy and will keep the stress out of your lives.
Meditation – The What’s and the How’s
There are a lot of people that believe that meditation is only used by Buddhist monks who are living in monasteries in the Tibetan mountains. These monks take a vow of silence, which means that they remain silent during their lives.
But that is not the truth. There are lots of people that are starting to meditate for various reasons. People think that meditation is just folding your legs and staying silent for a period of time. But, as you will see in this article, it is much more than that, and it’s not that easy to do it. You can meditate while you are sitting or you can meditate lying down. And it is a way of becoming mindful of what you are thinking and feeling during that time.
The simplest way of explaining meditation is the moment when you clear your mind of any thoughts and focus on your breathing in order to achieve mindfulness.
The Scientific Research
People think that in order to live a life without stress and worries, you need to be a lottery winner or a wealthy person. But, the truth is that nobody lives a stress-free and worry-free life.
Back in 1978, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology decided to put these beliefs to rest. So, they decided to follow lottery winners for a couple of years and see how their lives were going. And, on the other side, they were going to follow people who were hospitalized because of spinal cord injuries and see how their lives were going. After a couple of years, they came to the conclusion that there is not much difference between the two groups of people and their happiness levels.
They came to the conclusion that each and every one of us has their own “Happiness Set Point,” and this set point is determined by our genetics. The people that have higher activity in their frontal lobe are much happier than the ones that don’t have as much activity in this part of their brain. \
So, what’s the role of meditation in all this? Well, when outside factors have some kind of impact on your happiness (lower it) meditation can help you reset it and bring it back up again!
Restore your Brain with Meditation
As we mentioned earlier, when outside factors impact your happiness set point, you can use meditation to restore it back to its optimal levels. And, for the ones that think that it can’t be as simple as that. Try it, and then decide! A famous neuroscientist named Sara Lazar stated that by meditating, you can strengthen areas of your brain that will improve your feelings by lowering the stress and the strain during your everyday life. And, if you still aren’t sold on the whole meditation thing. It also helps decrease the amygdala, and this part of your brain is not a part of your brain that you want to get bigger. This part of your brain is responsible for the anxiety and stress that you’re feeling every day. So there’s another plus for you!
It can help reduce your cortisol levels
Cortisol – not a lot of people are aware of this hormone. And, for those of you who don’t know what it is for, it basically deals with your stress levels. So, the bigger your cortisol levels, the more stressed out you will feel. There are various ways of lowering the cortisol levels in your brain, but, the best-proven one that will work 100 percent of the time is meditation. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine stated that they had noticed much lower levels of cortisol in the students that have been meditation only for a couple of minutes a day for four days in a row. That’s four days, to lower your stress, what do you get to lose?!