Life is a constant state of change, and with that opportunities for self improvement. Science is showing that one of the key tools for improving your physical and mental health is a practice of meditation. Research has shown that meditation can change you in the most fundamental way possible because it can change the way that your genes are expressed.
For the study researchers compared the effects of eight hours (done consecutively) of mindful meditation done by a group of experienced meditators to a group of untrained subjects who engaged in eight hours of quiet, non-meditating activities.
After the eight hours the meditators showed a reduced levels of the inflammation causing genes RIPK2 and COX2. Additionally, the degree to which these genes were down-regulated by meditation translated into less production of the stress hormone cortisol when the subjects were asked to make an impromptu speech.
There were no such changes in gene expression in the group who undertook quiet activities. Also, in tests done before the eight hour study there was no difference in gene expression between the groups. So it appears that just eight hours of meditation is enough to alter your genetic expression in such a way that inflammation is reduced and your response to stress is enhanced.
Now there is something to meditate on as you contemplate your New Year’s resolution.