Scientists don’t know why meditation causes a decrease in
these hormones, but repeatedly the studies have shown a reduction in these hormones.
If a drop in stress hormones doesn’t make you happier, nothing will.
Although the mechanism remains unclear, WebMD notes that
meditation helps improve concentration. Some studies have linked meditation to
an increase in gray matter in the brain while other studies have shown that
meditation leads to an increase in electrical activity in the prefrontal
The science is still out on why exactly meditation causes an
improvement in concentration in those who practice. The increased ability to
concentrate is sure to have positive outcomes in your mood and overall
happiness. Being scatterbrained and having a hard time concentrating is
frustrating, to say the least, enjoy this unexpected benefit to meditation.
The Huffington Post notes that meditation increases brain
signaling to left side of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the
happy emotions. The increased signaling to the left aspect of the prefrontal
cortex could be responsible for the increased happiness in those who meditate.
All of the happy emotions are said to be triggered on the
left side of the prefrontal cortex. Joy, love, happiness, and exhilaration are stored
on the left side. Increased electrical activity and signaling to the left side
means that you’re going to experience these emotions and higher rates.
It also indicates that the negative emotions, which are
stored on the right side of the prefrontal cortex, are going to be experienced
at lower rates. Anger responses are lower in those who meditate, as are sadness
One of the things that mindful meditation does for
participants across the board, it reduces self-referential thoughts. Forbes
magazine notes that self-related thoughts and mind wandering are both
associated with decreased levels of happiness in mood surveys.
The ability to focus on aspects not related to yourself as
well as to focus your mind on specific trains of thought are both attributed to
reductions in egocentric thoughts. These cuts in egocentric thinking contribute
to overall satisfaction and happiness levels.
Anxiety and Depression
As if all of the above were not enough reason to meditate, Psychology
Today reports that meditation reduces both anxiety and depression in
participants. If we are talking about increasing happiness, a reduction in
anxiety and depression is probably the most compelling evidence that meditation
is going to increase your happiness levels.
Again, the exact mechanisms for the decrease in stress
hormones in the growth in happiness are not exactly known. However, the anxiety
and depression reduction is so great that often meditation is prescribed by
mental health professionals for the treatment of anxiety depression along with
As you can see, meditation can lead to a whole host of
positive outcomes for your mental health status. All of these findings will lead
to a happier and more rewarding life. Not only will you have a brighter outlook
on your daily activities but you also see a reduction in the adverse physical
Meditation is something that you can ease into a daily
practice and slowly incorporate into your everyday life.