The science behind meditation, is it really beneficial for you?

Meditation is like brain fitness. It strengthens your thinking muscle! Its purpose is to train your brain to focus and relax, that’s it.  The concept originates in ancient Buddhist, Hindu, and Chinese traditions. Mindfulness is less about spirituality and more about concentration; it is the ability to quiet your mind, focus your attention on the present, and dismiss any distractions that come your way. All it really takes is the ability to intentionally not think about anything for a little while.

Only recently have we started to see studies that actually reflect the common wisdom. The University of Washington has recently published a study showing that meditation can increase productivity and help you focus, another study published in Brain Research Bulletin suggests meditation can reduce stress.  The University of Massachusetts Medical School also published a study on how meditation boost the overall brain power.

What is in tea that helps you concentrate?
Thousands of years ago, Buddhist monks discovered that tea clarifies the mind and helps people feel happy.  But what explains that?  The ”magic molecule” or theanine.  I’m not joking!  The theanine is a unique amino acid found only in tea (Camellia Sinensis).  Evidence from human electroencephalograph (EEG) studies show it modulates aspects of brain function; they found that theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. These data indicate that theanine has a significant effect on the general state of mental alertness or sharpness. Furthermore, alpha activity is known to play an important role in critical aspects of attention, and further research is therefore focused on understanding the effect of theanine on attention processes.

Find your nirvana while drinking green tea
Theanine has also been found to induce the release of dopamine in the brain, which is primarily a neuro-chemical associated with feelings of pleasure and well-being.   The American Botanical Council has just recently released a new report claiming that theanine in green tea can enhance reward learning and decrease symptoms of depression. Reward learning is the conditioning response of positive behavior following a positive event. Positive reward learning is thought of as a way to counter depression.


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