Meditation to train the BRAIN
“Cultivating this quality of mind has been shown to reduce pain, anxiety, and depression; improve cognitive function; and even produce changes in grey matter density and regions of the brain related to learning and memory, emotional regulation, and self-awareness.” (3)
There has been more research on cognitive functions in the past 20 years than there has been in the course of human history.
Meditation has been shown to change structural changes in the brain. Long- Term meditators “tend to have larger corpora collosa and hippocampi(In both hemispheres)”.(1) Mediation is connected to the increase of grey matter density in the brain, which decreases age-related patterns of brain function(Stress, anxiety).
A Study found that normal people are lost in thought 46.9 percent of the time.(1) Also its important to note, that these were only the people that were able to confess that they were lost in thought. Many meditators would say it is plenty more. The authors concluded that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Experienced meditators respond differently to pain than most people do, as well. There was a study shown that these meditators had reduced activity in the brain associated with anxiety or pain when knowing beforehand that pain or anxiety would be onset and faster healing once the pain or anxiety arrived. (2)
A review of the psychological literature suggests that mindfulness in particular fosters many components for physical and mental health: It improves immune function, blood pressure, and cortisol levels; it reduces anxiety, depression, neuroticism, and emotional reactivity…(3)
I highly suggest reading Sam Harris’s, Waking Up book. You can find all of the science about meditation on pages 119-150.
- Focus on a sense(Physical feeling of the breath, gravity on your butt or pressure in your back)
- When you are not focused on that sense anymore(The mind is wandering); become aware that you are not focused
- Bring your attention back to the sense.
This meditation is mindfulness and will increase everything mentioned earlier( happiness, awareness, focus as well as reduce stress, anxiety, and depression)
There are thousands of different forms of meditation and ways to meditate. Some of those include, flow, mindfulness, loving Kindness, releasing ego, beyond control, etc.
Meditation’s Influence on My Life
This is the most important tool I have ever learned. There’s a whole world inside your brain. You just have to peel away the layers, that have built up over time, and experience it to recognize the mind’s true beauty.
In my senior year of college I was depressed. I went to a counselor and he told me about meditation. I thought it was a hoax at first, but after my first light bulb went off, I was highly interested, if not intrigued, by the experience I felt on the porch of my apartment senior year.
The experience I had was when I was sitting in my hammock reading this book called, “Happiness” by Matthieu Ricard. I was meditating on one of the teachings that he gives at the end of each chapter, and this meditation was, specifically, on the flow of the now; focusing on each second as if it were a stream of liquid gold. Basically, I was to sit and think about everything that has ever happened in my life, good and bad, happened at the present moment, and all of the decisions that were made could be compared to a flow of liquid gold. It talked about how time was the most valuable asset in existence.
This hit me hard. I had never thought about time in this way. EVERY MOMENT HAPPENS IN THE PRESENT, and time is the most valuable piece of life with enabling the power to take advantage of it at every moment. SOOO. I hit a brief bit of light in my life, and I have been following that light ever since.
Thank you for reading.
If you have any questions on any of this hit me up on my contact page, or
Id love to talk to you about this and more. Gracias Muy Beuno. Muy Bueno. Buenas Noches Hombres.
- M.A. Killingsworth and D.T. Gilbert. 2010. “A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind.” Science 330: 932
- A. Lutz et al. 2012. “Altered Anterior Insula Activation During Anticipation and Experience of Painful Stimuli in Expert Meditators.” Neuroimage 64: 534-46
- Harris, Sam. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. , 2014. Print.