It seems like everyday there's another news story on the benefits of meditation, and how meditation causes physical changes to the brain. But what do the changes signify? Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar explains in an article in Tech Insider:
• Understanding yourself (and other people too). Meditation increases your awareness of "minimally conscious thoughts and emotions," or quieter emotions that otherwise go unnoticed. "You have probably experienced many emotions that you're not even aware of," Lazar says. "If you understand them in yourself, you'll understand them better in other people."
• Emotional strength. When you have a higher resolution image of your emotional landscape, then you're less to be swayed by each individual feeling. "If you have a better handle of all the different emotions, you realize, 'Ok, this emotion isn't useful,'" Lazar says. "It gives you more information, and information is power."
• Getting less freaked out by stress. "You're less likely to make a rash decision," Lazar says. "You're less stressed, you're less caught up in the hullabaloo around you. I think that's important regardless of what you do. it plays into quality of life. I still get stressed, but it takes more to make me stressed out."