Meditation and Brain
Meditation reduces anxiety and depression. Magnetic resonance imaging shows that those who regularly meditate have cortical thickening in the prefrontal cortex. This thickening is especially notable in older practitioners, who showed significantly less age-related cortical thinning than those who don’t meditate. A robust prefrontal cortex helps inhibit negative emotions generated by the limbic system, the brain’s emotional center. Functional magnetic resonance imaging shows that depressed and anxious people tend to have overactive limbic systems. Meditation can help build strong prefrontal cortices, which in turn can help modulate an overactive limbic system. These recent findings help explain clinical observation that meditation is beneficial for treating anxiety and depression.