Some of the main benefits of meditation are stress reduction, less emotional distress, less activation of immune systems under stressful situations, and improvement in certain stress-related medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia and psoriasis. Meditation is also generally associated with improvement of focus and memory, boosting of creativity, and a feeling of peacefulness as well as a resolution of relationship problems, overcoming of addictions, and general well-being.
A study reported by Harvard University shows that meditation alters the brain’s structure by changing the gray matter density in different areas over time. While researchers found that meditation decreases the gray matter density in the amygdala, directly resulting in reductions in stress, it also increases the gray matter density in the hippocampus, a change associated with improvement in learning and memory. Researchers from the same study also noted that meditation may result in a slightly longer lifespan.
Another study at the University of Wisconsin concluded that meditation increases the electrical activity in regions of the left frontal lobe, an area that is more active in optimistic people. Other benefits of meditation are lower amounts of cortisol (the stress hormone), normalized blood pressure, reduced insomnia, reduced anxiety and depression, and lower risk of heart attack and stroke.