We know a good workout can help the body. But what about your brain?
A group of UCLA researchers claim meditation may be the key.
They used high-resolution MRI to scan the brains of people who meditate.
In a study published in the journal NeuroImage, the researchers report that certain regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger than in a similar control group.
Meditators showed significantly larger volumes of the hippocampus, the thalamus and the inferior temporal gyrus -- all regions known for regulating emotions.
"We know that people who consistently meditate have a singular ability to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability and engage in mindful behavior," said Eileen Luders, lead author and a postdoctoral research fellow at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Physorg.com reported. "The observed differences in brain anatomy might give us a clue why meditators have these exceptional abilities."
Research has confirmed the beneficial aspects of meditation.
In addition to having better focus and control over their emotions, many people who meditate regularly have reduced levels of stress and bolstered immune systems.
But less is known about the link between meditation and brain structure.