Meditation is a yellow brick road to a place of peace, you never explored before, present within your mind. A haven of your own that you can enter whenever you please. By tapping into the deeper parts of your brain, meditation forces your nervous system into optimal performance, while flushing your mind of all gloom-ridden feelings.
If you require further persuasion to realize that meditation is the life-changing hobby you need, mentioned below are seven ways meditation can re-wire your brain for the better:
1. Reduces Stress
Not even someone with the most fulfilling life is exempt from feelings of stress. Unexpected circumstances have a way of making the healthiest of minds uneasy. Unless looked after, these situations can have dire effects on one’s emotional, mental and physical state.
Meditation allows you to step back for a moment instead of making you give an immediate reaction; giving time to your “wise mind” to process the situation and making the stress response to not be triggered right away. The part of the brain commonly called the “Me Center” processes information regarding your feelings and experiences. Meditating weakens the neural connection between the parts of our brain that process fear and the Me Center.
Thus, you can look at an upsetting situation more rationally and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety when you meditate. One study revealed that meditation reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying. Meditation also reduces the stress hormone cortisol, the increase of which is what causes dementia.
2. Improves Your Ability To Make Decisions
The most successful people use meditation to help them thrive at their jobs. Research shows that both transcendental and mindfulness meditation enhances the functioning of your mind’s decision-making centers. Meditation increases cortical thickness which is associated with decision making and memory, thus helping you in making better, more productive decisions.
3. Improves Your Relationships
Meditation increases your sense of social connection, whether it be romantic, platonic or professional. You become not only more aware but also empathetic towards others. You are less likely to get into conflict as your emotional intelligence rises, which hones your ability to pick up on indications regarding how others might be feeling.
Studies observe one of the results of meditation being the thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration. This increased emotional stability also makes it less likely for you to be influenced by any negative people that might be around. This creates a better, more fertile environment for your mental health to flourish.
4. Improves Focus
Meditation provides you a better-developed sense of being, allowing you to work more efficiently. Research shows that meditation improves cognition and increases your ability to perform tasks requiring focus. You are more likely to get into “the flow” as it is termed in psychology by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. This heightened focus makes you more alert and responsive to the needs of your body, as a result, you are able to perceive aches or discomforts earlier and tend to them as needed.
5. Prevents Wandering Of Mind
While daydreaming has notable benefits, studies argue that it might also come with an emotional cost. This is because mind wandering is typically associated with being less happy, over-thinking, brooding about the past and worrying about the future. Therefore, it is ideal to tone it down. Mounting scientific evidence has shown that meditation, through its quieting effect on the DMN (default mode network, the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts), appears to do just this.
Another study found that the two classic forms of meditation, focused attention, and open monitoring, are capable of minimizing the number of “intrusive” thoughts people had when they were asked to recall a personal fear.
6. Improves Memory
With the increasing age, our mental capacity peaks and then deteriorates. Meditation exercises our mental muscles, prolonging the life of our brain, which significantly lowers susceptibility to memory loss. Another one of the numerous benefits of regular meditation is the improvement of rapid memory recall.
Catherine Kerr, a researcher at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Osher Research Center, observed that people who practiced mindful meditation were able to screen out distractions and increase their productivity more swiftly than those who did not meditate. She says that this ability to disregard distractions could elucidate their “superior ability to rapidly remember and incorporate new facts”. Meditation is the very best way to tap into the power of the subconscious mind, thereby, recouping long forgotten information and blotted out memories, healthily and harmlessly.
7. Unlocks Your Mind’s Full Potential
A majority of people use one out of two of the hemispheres of the brain, creating an imbalance. Meditation can balance both brain hemispheres, allowing them to work in sync. The left and right brain hemispheres communicate to their full potential, producing what doctors call whole brain functioning. You will begin to notice mounts of insightful thoughts, with reduced anger, anxiety, depression once you start to meditate. You will also be more likely to experience feelings of happiness and positivity and develop an optimistic approach towards life while feeling more “at one” with the world.
Meditation, with all its scientifically backed up benefits, is a vital step towards the pursuit of a healthier, happier mind. Like any other exercise, for ideal results, you must make meditation a part of your daily routine and give your mind a break from its day-to-day concerns. A few minutes dedicated to this simple practice, regularly, can bring about a significant improvement in both your physical and mental being.