The Emotional Chemistry of Meditation

MBV   April 1, 2016

Emotional ChemistryIn meditation, we can sit still with our natural state — where our deepest emotions have settled. While our tendency is to suppress difficult feelings in any way possible, they will always be there waiting for us.

In a world where escape is something we all crave, meditation is how we develop the strength to experience a more raw frequency of direct emotion — even the ones that might not be that comfortable. This allows us to come to terms with how we feel and process our inner dynamic in a healthy way.

Exploring Your Emotions Through Meditation

How often do you give your emotions the attention they deserve? Meditation gives you a chance to explore your inner dynamic at a deeper level than what you might normally be used to.

Raw emotions can be a great resource by providing you with depth and inspirational drive.  But strong emotions can also become destructive when left untamed.

This is the point of meditation — to bring you closer to your inner dynamic  and create an awareness, of not only yourself, but of the world around you and the way you interact with other people.

Positive Psychology Terms

You are able to slow down enough to see what’s going on inside of you, and with regular practice you can use meditation to refashion the way your mind and body correlate — focusing on positivity and health as opposed to the stresses of daily life and the avoidance of certain situations.

What does science have to say about meditation?

The physiological response of meditation causes the natural release of hormones including serotonin (also known as one of the ‘happy’ neurotransmitters) in the brain. This complex hormone has a profound effect on our mood and general state of well-being.

Brain researcher Barry Jacobs, PhD, and fellow colleagues at Princeton would agree that depression starts to appear when fewer and fewer brain cells are being created, and the two leading triggers are age and stress.

Multiple studies have shown that practicing mindfulness and other forms of meditation have a direct impact on the body’s production of serotonin. It is believed that meditation showers the body with a healthy amount of ‘feel good’ hormones, effectively decreasing levels of stress that would eventually lead to various types of depression.

Learn More About The Bilogical Effects of Mindfulness Meditation (Journal of psychiatry and Neuroscience)

This takes place as the the mind settles down, allowing the body to regulate and balance out the natural interchanging of chemistry in the body. Ultimately, meditation helps create the ideal environment to replenish brain make you happier and healthier.

Meditation and The Fountain of Youth

When under stress, the nervous system releases cortisol, an age-accelerating hormone that can drastically impact the way we function on a day to day basis. Far too many people suffer higher than normal level of cortisol, which is definitely not surprising to those of us who have encountered prolonged states of agitation and stress.

Emotional Chemistry - Cortisol

Experts have found a link between mindfulness and a number of neurochemicals including:

Cortisolstudies indicate that regular meditation can lower and regulate overall levels of cortisol (stress hormone).

Endorphins – often referred to as ‘self-produced morphine.’ This brain molecule is responsible for the feeling of exhilaration, experienced after physical exertion (such as running), sexual climax, and pain. People who meditate regularly have been shown to produce much healthier levels of this neurochemical, causing feelings of euphoria and overall well-being.

Melatonin – a study found that meditation before bedtime increased melatonin levels before bed. This hormone helps regulate sleep and appears to influence the energy flow of the body.

GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) – meditation increases activity in the prefrontal cortex which also helps produce this neurochemical in the brain. This neurotransmitter is responsible for moderating excitability and regulating energy and motor skills. study

neurochemistry-of-depression-e1285168062367

The science indicates that practices such as meditation promote a unification of body and mind to ensure holistic health and general happiness.

Giving the mind a place to naturally align with the intirquite dynamics of the body is where the balance of emotional chemistry is encouraged to release positive hormones. 

Meditation and mindfulness help you stabilize from within, letting you to come face to face with some of your deepest anxieties.

You are teaching your body to respond differently by influencing the release of happy hormones as opposed to stress hormones.​

We know that the psychological effects of meditation reinforce our understanding of the way body and mind operate. With simple application we can alter our mood to improve health and productivity. Neurology indicates a connection between all of these ‘feel good’ hormones and meditation. This helps inspire and encourage regular practice of meditation as a way to maintain health and happiness.

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