New Study: Meditation Strengthens the Brain

It’s no surprise that meditation can help you de-stress, but did you know that it could also strengthen your brain?

It’s no surprise that the ancient mindfulness practice of meditation can help you de-stress, and may even benefit your heart but did you know that it could also strengthen your brain?

A new report by UCLA researchers found that those who have practised meditation for a long time have more folding in their brains’ cortex (called “gyrification” in scientific terms) than non-meditators. This extra folding may allow the brain to process information more quickly.

According to the study’s abstract, “given that meditators are masters in introspection, awareness, and emotional control, increased insular gyrification may reflect an integration of autonomic, affective, and cognitive processes.”

Another indicator of neuroplasticity
Another interesting implication of this research is how it adds to the growing body of research that shows that the brain demonstrates neuroplasticity—it can change over time, even into adulthood. This is stark contrast to how the brain was thought of a few centuries ago. For every year the study participants meditated, they had more folding in their brains.

Beginner’s guide to meditation
New to meditation? Check out these different types for tips to get started.

  • Try this quick, 15-minute introductory meditation session. 
  • Not sure if you can sit still? Movement-based meditation may be for you. 
  • Practise mindfulness meditation throughout your day. 
  • Embrace quietness with these meditation techniques. 
  • Incorporate meditation into your yoga practice. 


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