Do Your Brain a Favor: Meditate
Other coping mechanisms do more harm than good: research
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 25, 2011 2:24 PM CDT
Studies suggest meditation is an effective way to ease our minds.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Humankind has developed plenty of coping mechanisms over the centuries, from long walks to hard drugs. While many of these methods have endured, not all of them are in our brains’ best interests, writes Alice Walton at Forbes. Smoking and drinking, for example, can lead to a vicious cycle of craving. Meditation, on the other hand, has long helped us get away from ourselves—and now there’s hard data showing it works.

We know that a wandering mind can lead to unhappiness, since our untethered minds tend to drift toward our worries. When the mind is wandering, a certain set of brain cells are activated. Meditation can help us disconnect from this portion of our brains, a study finds; instead of focusing on themselves and their troubles, expert meditators can stay in the present. Their brains even seem to chaperone themselves, recognizing and fighting off self-centered thoughts. Click through for the fascinating full article.