This discovery could lead to new insights as to why these activities help guard against depression, particularly in those who are genetically predisposed to the mental health disorder.
Natural Health News Regular meditation or other spiritual or religious practice alters the structure of the brain in a way that offers protection against depression particularly in people who are at high risk from the disease.
It has long been accepted that spiritual or religious practices can induce a sense of relaxation and well being as well as a sense of belonging that is protective, but now researchers at Columbia University have shown that it can also lead to a thickening of the cerebral cortex the outermost layered structure of neural tissue sometimes referred to as grey matter.
Previous data has shown that in families with a history of depression there is a significant thinning in this area.
This new study, published online by JAMA Psychiatry, involved 103 adults at either high or low risk of depression, based on family history.
The people were asked how highly they valued …
The act of prayer can be relaxing, because you're “talking out” your problems. Meditation is not another self-help improvement project. However, the possibility that there are actual positive physiological changes that may take place in the structure of the brain that can be directly connected to the practice of meditation is something we might want to consider.