Meditation can help increase empathy for other people. (This article explains things such as how it reduces anxiety, but I thought the empathy part was most important).
"Finally, an added bonus of meditating is that the connection between the helpful aspects of the Me Center (i.e. dorsomedial prefrontal cortex) – the part involved in processing information related to people we perceive as being not like us – and the bodily sensation center – involved in empathy – becomes stronger. This healthy connection enhances your capacity to understand where another person is coming from, especially those who you cannot intuitively understand because you think or perceive things differently from them (i.e., dissimilar others). This increased connection explains why meditation enhances empathy – it helps us use the part of the brain that infers other people’s states of mind, their motivations, desires, dreams and so on, while simultaneously activating the part of the brain involved in the actual experience of empathy (insula). The end result is that we are more able to put ourselves in another person’s shoes (especially those not like us), thereby increasing our ability to feel empathy and compassion for everyone."
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/use … meditation
"M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after the participants’ meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes"
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/2 … the-brain/
"It has been hard to pinpoint the benefits of meditation, but a 2009 study suggests that meditation may reduce blood pressure in patients with coronary heart disease. And a 2007 study found that meditators have longer attention spans."
http://www.livescience.com/20920-mindfu … efits.html
Reduces pain perception, enhances female sexual experience, increases problem solving skills, improved moods, improved working memory, staying alert with out becoming emotional in tough situations, process info faster.
Meditating is amazing in my opinion, & up until the age of 40 i'd never even considered it let alone tried it.....So as a 40 year old compulsive thinker, & over analyser i decided to give it a go.....Since i started i haven't looked back, & do it most days especially whilst walking about.....The main thing meditating did for me, was to give my mind a break from constantly thinking....Over a short period of around 6/7/8 months, i learned to be able to think mostly when i wanted to, & not just for the sake of it.......If anyone reads this who is a compulsive thinker/over analyser, a couple of quick tips for you......Instead of sitting there thinking, try sitting there & listening to all the different sounds.....Whilst out & about walking instead of thinking or listening to music, try looking at anything & everything (keep your eyes moving).....If doing house work etc, always do it "without" the T.V or music playing.....Always eat away from the T.V, & without music playing (talking is fine)....The idea behind the above methods is to distract your mind from thinking, by looking & concentrating on exactly whatever it is your doing at the time.....It's impossible to think when your looking at things, & engrossed in what your doing.....If you've never meditated you should try it, & start with mindful meditating.....If a negative thought pops in your head & wants to lead you on, you distract that thought as soon as your aware of it.....So it's practice training & time, & anyone can do it, & it can be done anywhere....One thing i have learned from all this, is that i'm not my mind....If i do anything now it's because i feel it's right for me & others, it's got nothing to do with my mind anymore.....I obviously still use my mind but it helps me now, it's weird how it's shifted over the months....What used to bother me before i started meditating etc, doesn't bother me anymore....Also the negative self talk etc, has almost vanished....So as someone who used to "smirk" at the idea of meditating, i now regard it as probably the greatest thing i learned....I also did a lot of emotions/feelings control along the way, but again not as hard as it sounds & it was just a case of practice. :-)
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posted by Cordelia Bay
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