Neuroscience shows that 50-year-olds can have the brains of 25-year-olds if they sit quietly and do nothing for 15 minutes a day
The researcher’s first studylooked at long-term meditators and the results showed that those with a strong meditation background had increased gray matter in several areas of the brain, including the auditory and sensory cortex, as well as insula and sensory regions.
The neuroscientists also found that the meditators had more gray matter in another brain region, this time linked to decision-making and working memory: the frontal cortex. In fact, while most people see their cortexes shrink as they age, 50-year-old meditators in the study had the same amount of gray matter as those half their age.
Even just eight weeks of meditation changed people’s brains for the better. There was thickening in the left hippocampus (involved in learning, memory, and emotional regulation); the TPJ (involved in empathy and the ability to take multiple perspectives); and a part of the brainstem called the pons (where regulatory neurotransmitters are generated).
The brains of the new meditators saw shrinkage of the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with fear, anxiety, and aggression. This reduction in size of the amygdala correlated to reduced stress levels in those participants.