How Meditation Relieves A Stressful Mind, Rewires The Brain
Because EquiSync® guides your brainwaves into various states of meditation, it is important to understand all of the different ways this incredibly beneficial mind-state has been proven to help you with anxiety, depression, addiction, stress and a whole range of health problems.
Health Enemy #1: Stress. Do you ever stop to think about how much stress affects your life? According to Stanford University Medical School Dr. Bruce Lipton, a prominent and highly respected cell researcher, “Stress is the cause of at least 95% of all disease.” As countless studies have proven, stress is a weapon of mass destruction. We must learn how to transcend this so called "silent killer".
In a stressful situation, your body gets ready for emergency action, causing certain hormones to flood your system. This "fight or flight" reaction increases your blood pressure, breathing and heart rate, while tightening up all of your muscles. A natural product of our evolution, this response was very important for our ancient ancestors who faced real “life or death” situations.
Mismanaging Stress. The problem is, modern man’s common relationship issues, job problems, and financial difficulties are unnecessarily eliciting this same chemical cocktail of harmful hormones. Even worse, because these aren’t true fight or flight situations, we often “suck it up” and internalize the stress, making us feel helpless and powerless, surging our systems with even more nasty stuff.
Long-term stress (chronic) can exhaust your entire nervous system, releasing cortisol and adrenaline in a vicious cycle, eventually causing you to “burn out.” The result? You age faster, your immune system weakens, and your vital brain tissue shrinks. Soon, anxiety and depression set in, causing you to seek out an escape mechanism, usually an addiction. Without an effective stress antidote, things can spiral further out of control, opening the door up to disease of all types.
Meditation is the Key. From physically changing the structure of the brain (neuroplasticity), to releasing stress neutralizing chemicals, to quieting the anxiety-creating mind-chatter, here we discuss a few of the reasons that meditation is the very best stress-neutralizing tool. Back To Top ↑
Raise Your Stress Limit A jogger who has trained himself to run five miles per day is unphased by a now petty one mile run that seemed difficult in his first week. Likewise, practicing meditation regularly will also push your mental and emotional thresholds to higher limits. The stress that once left you anxious, depressed, and possibly reaching for your favorite escape mechanism (addiction) will simply not carry anywhere near the same weight as before.
In addition, all of the anxiety, depression, and addiction building up over your lifetime gets melted away, session by session, layer by layer – even if you have tried everything else without success. In the end, your “nerves of steel” will be impenetrable to stress and all of its nasty side effects.
Busy Mind Epidemic. Scientists believe that our brains generate more than 50,000 thoughts per day. The problem is, for most of us, our minds feed us useless, fear-based, past/future narratives that make no difference to us in the present moment. The same stale, repetitive thoughts about not having enough, not doing enough, and not being enough make us feel inadequate, powerless, and helpless.
To compound the problem, we create even more resistance by attaching good/bad labels to our incoming thoughts. The world-renowned founding father of analytical psychology, Dr. Carl Jung, perhaps put it best, “what you resist, persists.” This monkey mind effect creates a stress-based downward spiral, opening the door up to anxiety, depression, addiction, and a long list of disease.
“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” Lao Tzu
Quieting The Mind. Luckily, meditation is the very best method of quieting and stilling the mind. Meditation teaches you to be mindful of your incoming thoughts - aware of your inner monologue. It transfers power away from the busy, "monkey mind" to the slow, deep, profound so-called "ox mind", allowing you to think more clearly and creatively about everything happening in your life. Eventually your dominant level of consciousness will be calm yet powerful, where your true potential can finally shine through.
Your highly beneficial meditation sessions will effectively eliminate whatever stress your cells are currently holding in, while preventing all future stress from snowballing into anything unmanageable like anxiety, depression or any other disease. With medical science making it obvious just how damaging stress is to our overall health, it is easy to see why this age-old practice is now so commonly prescribed by doctors.
“The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.” Napoleon Bonaparte Back To Top ↑
Meditation Grows the Brain’s “Happy” Center.” Meditation is now seen by many within the neuroscientific and psychological research communities as the “holy grail” for a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. Thousands of brain scientists have come to a simple yet impactful conclusion - the more you meditate, the happier and healthier you will become.
In a landmark 2005 study, Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Sara Lazar discovered that meditators had much more neural density, gray matter thickness, and neural activity within their left prefrontal cortex — perhaps the smartest & happiest brain region of all. To compound this amazing discovery, Dr. Lazar found that the more years of meditation experience a participant had under his/her belt, the greater the overall size of their super-beneficial prefrontal cortex.
Traditional meditators have been anxiety-free, happy people for countless centuries, modern science is finally catching up with what our ancestors have known all along. If you want to rewire your brain for happiness, then meditation is priority one. Back To Top ↑
Meditation Shrinks the Brain’s “Fear Center.” Known as the anxiety, stress, and fear center of the brain, an overactive amygdala can create a whole spectrum of problems, including the initiation of our “fight or flight” response. Our hunting and gathering ancestors needed their “survival mode” activated amygdala on a daily basis. Modern man does not. The good news is that meditation, through a process known as "neuroplasticity", structurally transforms the brain and how it responds to stress.
In fact, after an 8 week mindfulness study, Boston University researchers’ MRI scans show that the brain’s anxiety, depression and fear center, the amygdala - shrunk significantly. The scientists found that the synergetic connectivity between the amygdala and the rest of the brain also weakened, while the brain areas associated with focus and higher consciousness got stronger.
On top of that, the effect grows the more you practice. Adrienne Taren, a mindfulness researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, said “the scale of these changes strongly correlate with the number of hours of meditation practice.” A monumental discovery, effectively rewiring how the brain responds to stress has far-reaching implications, opening the door up to an array of incredible mind/body benefits.
Meditation Optimizes Your Brainwaves. Sleep or awake, your brain fires electrical signals 24 hours per day, outwardly measured as "brainwaves." Your brainwave state at any given time is the sum total of your thoughts, emotions, mood and overall health. Depending on what you are doing during the day, your brainwave patterns will have varying wavelengths and certain defining characteristics.
One particular brainwave, Beta, has shown to be prevalent when we are stressed, anxious, depressed, and unwell. While fundamental to life, spending too much time in beta can wreak havoc on your mental, emotional, and physical health. It is essential to find brainwave states that effectively cool off our overheated, problem causing beta brainwave patterns.
Luckily, meditation guides your brain into the most healthy, advanced states — Alpha, Theta, and Delta, respectively. These super-beneficial brainwaves are known for producing incredible benefits far beyond the scope of this article, including super-learning, memory, creativity, releasing of good neurochemicals, intuition, cell-renewal, the list goes on and on.
By releasing you from the Beta state, meditation opens up a whole new world of awesome!
(Tip: EquiSync® brainwave programs focus exclusively on these super beneficial brainwave patterns, allowing you access to the limitless benefits of meditation quickly, safely, & easily.) Back To Top ↑
Meditation activates the "Relaxation Response." Harvard University physician Herbert Benson noticed that well over half of his patient visits were because of stress related disorders. He thought, if he could figure out a way to counteract this phenomenon, it just might revolutionize the healthcare industry, helping untold numbers of people. In time, his quest succeeded, and he coined the term “relaxation response” for his findings.
What, precisely, did he discover? Dr. Benson found that meditation was the key to eliciting the body’s “relaxation response”. By simultaneously activating the “cool and calm” parasympathetic nervous system while deactivating "fight or flight" stress mode, in meditation, he discovered that his patients could essentially reverse countless health issues. While most of us spend some part of our days in a relaxed state, meditation further multiplies the relaxation response’s many chemical benefits, effectively making it the body’s status quo.
His research just adds to the growing consensus among the scientific community: by effectively transforming how the body responds to incoming stress, from brain structure upgrades, to hormonal changes, to more optimal nervous system function, meditation is the very best tool for the prevention and even the reversal of 100’s of nasty mental, emotional, and physical ailments.
Dr. Benson’s bestselling book, "Relaxation Response", has sold millions of copies, providing great momentum to the mind-body movement, and stands as another solid example of hard science confirming age-old meditation wisdom. Back To Top ↑
Live a Long, Healthy Life. Have you ever noticed how a new president (or other person of power) seems to age a decade within their first couple years in office? Stress, according to many longevity scientists, is the new "biological clock" — a dominant force which can make you look old long before your time.
In fact, the tip-like "telomeres" within our DNA begin to “fray”, just like the shoe laces on your favorite running shoes, over time and especially under stress. In turn this makes us look and feel older, weakens our cells, and opens the door up to a bunch of nasty diseases. Not fun. Luckily telomere damage can be slowed down and even reversed.
A major breakthrough, scientists at the University of California-Davis found meditators’ white blood cells had remarkably longer and stronger telomeres than the control group, definitively showing their vibrant health and longevity. As the guardian to old age, meditation effectively creates a stress "immunity shield", adding both quantity and quality years to your life. Back To Top ↑