Does Meditation Change Your Brain?

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Meditation, research has found, is effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and empowering the ability to better handle stress in everyday life. For recovering from mental health disorders like depressive disorders, substance use disorders, and post traumatic stress disorder, meditation is a proven practice for reducing the severity of symptoms and improving brain health. Meditation slows down heart rate, increases the flow of oxygen, and regulates hormone production in the brain. Becoming more calm, finding a state of peace, letting go of intrusive thoughts, and being able to handle stress more efficiently don’t just occur in the brain. Actual structural changes have to take place to create those behavioral changes. Brain imaging studies find that meditation actually changes the structure of the brain, not just what happens inside of the brain.  

Meditation creates more grey matter in the brain, which is more raw tissue. Raw grey matter in the brain creates more room for learning and imprinting, keeping the brain younger as well as healthier. The reason people are able to change so much when they start meditating is because they’re actually creating the room for change in the structure of their brain.

More than changes in the brain take place when we start to meditate. There are many physical side effects of meditation which contribute to holistic changes, not just mental changes. When we relax our brains and start to manage our stress, we reduce stress throughout our body as well. Meditation can reduce inflammation, which is linked to various illnesses and diseases. Increasing heart health is another major benefit of meditation. Reduced stress is good for the heart and the rest of the organs. Part of the reason meditation is included with other forms of spiritual or holistic health practices is because all the eastern oriented traditions of healing run on a philosophy of energy. Stress is energy which turns toxic in the body, and the mind, and causes sickness. Meditation is one of many ways to reduce and release this toxic stress, freeing the body of negative energy.

The eleventh step of the infamous twelve steps advocates meditation as part of an ongoing spiritual program of recovery. Most treatment centers, like Harmony Place, offer meditation classes to encourage the development of the practice as well.


Harmony Place offers the utmost privacy and luxury to men and women seeking residential treatment for substance use and mental health disorders. Our full continuum of care offers options from detox to transitional living, supporting a new lifestyle for lifelong recovery. For a private assessment and more information, call us today:  1-855-652-9048