Brain Scans Reveal Modern Meditation Can Stop Everyday Worries; Lowers Anxiety by 39%

Meditation as it is practiced today may be slightly different than it was in the ancient past and practiced for different reasons. History shows us that meditation in the 5th and 6th centuries was often as a religious practice. In today’s more modern and secular world, meditation is used as a relaxation technique or as an aide in addiction treatment, coping with illness or lowering stress and anxiety.

A new study has uncovered details of the mechanics of meditation and researchers have found that it can lower anxiety up to 39%.

“In this study, we were able to see which areas of the brain were activated and which were deactivated during meditation-related anxiety relief,” Fadel Zeidan, lead author and postdoctoral research fellow in neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, told The Hindu.

The study followed fifteen participants with no anxiety disorders, who had normal levels of anxiety and who had never practiced mediation before. Participants took four 20-minute classes on mindfulness meditation to learn to focus their senses on breath and body and to gauge thoughts and emotions without judgment. Brain activity was measured before and after meditation to determine cerebral blood flow. The results were astonishing.

“This showed that just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation can help reduce normal everyday anxiety,” Zeidan said.

Additional results of the study showed an increase in brain activity in the ventromedial prefontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls worries, and the anterior cingulate cortex that facilitates thinking and emotions. The elevated use of these areas correlates with a decrease in anxiety.

Mindfulness meditation has increased in popularity and use over the last decade. Experts theorize that therapists who use meditation also bring it into their practices to assist their clients. Many Malibu drug rehabs incorporate meditation into their recovery routine for this same reason.

When you recognize harmful patterns and seek treatment, you can increase your chances of leading a healthier life. Cliffside Malibu is here to support you in your search for an alcohol-free life. We believe you deserve to have a private, comfortable and luxurious environment as you navigate your journey to a sober life. Our center allows you to explore your mental health needs, creates a treatment plan that is unique to you and allows you to discover beneficial coping skills. To learn more about alcohol treatment at Cliffside Malibu, call (855) 403-5641.