Mindful Meditation and Your Memory – How It Works

Do you tend to forget things easily? Are you constantly searching for where you left your keys, wallet or phone? Do you walk into a room and you can’t remember why? Are you easily distracted by your environment? Do you forget what you want to tell someone right before you’re going to tell them? Memory problems are common among a wide range of age groups, and they tend to get worse as you grow older. Fortunately, there is something you can do to improve your memory that doesn’t involve medication or lifestyle changes. Scientific studies proved that meditation improves both long- and short-term memory. Find out more about mindful meditation and your memory.

What Is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness means focusing on what is going on in the current moment. Instead of allowing your mind and thoughts to wander, you focus the mind on the present. You remove any worry about the future or anxiety about something that happened in the past. You only pay attention to the here and now.

Focus and Concentration

Rather than just clearing your mind, like basic meditation, you start by focusing on your breath. Then, you shift your concentration to different bodily sensations. For example, if you think about a pain in your shoulder, you can imagine the main and tension dissolving away. You then shift your focus to a different part of the body, all the while reducing tension and stress.

Higher Awareness

As you practice mindfulness meditation, you begin to have a higher awareness of the present moment while staying active. This type of awareness can help improve your working memory, or your ability to remember things short-term, almost like a mental notepad. While you can remember large amounts of things, you can only think of a few at once, and those things are in your working memory.


When you face distractions, you can lose things from your working memory. By practicing mindfulness meditation, you can retain your focus on those things, thus improving your working memory. Mindfulness meditation requires constant attention, which entails focusing your attention, noticing distractions and choosing to ignore those distractions. Mindfulness meditation actually can change the structure of your brain and alter the connections between brain cells, which can further improve your memory.

How Does Meditation Improve Memory?

While mindfulness meditation can improve your working memory, regular meditation also works to improve your memory in a number of ways.

Meditation Strengthens Your Mind

Your mental capacity peaks at a certain age, then as you grow older it starts to decline. By meditating, you train your mind to achieve high levels of concentration and intense focus. These foundations of meditation strengthen and condition your mind, which can prolong the life of your brain and reduce memory loss.

Meditation Slows Down Aging

Meditation does in fact work to slow down the aging process. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Stress and the hormones released during stress are huge factors that can rapidly age you in a number of ways. One of those aging characteristics is memory loss. Studies proved that meditation reduces stress, thus slowing down its aging effects on your brain. Meditation is a natural method that makes the body slow down and the brain to focus. During this process, you’re focusing the art of slowing down. If you’re body slows down, so does your mind. When you’re mind and body are at rest, you tend to make better choices. This includes choices for your brain and your body. Meditation techniques promote a healthier state of mind.

Meditation Helps You Remember

Have you ever misplaced something or forgotten an important date? It’s frustrating when you forget even the smallest details. You may think that many of your memories are long forgotten, but meditation can actually help you remember some of them. In fact, memories aren’t actually discarded, your brain simply stores them in your subconscious. What you lack are the tools to retrieve them. Meditation techniques are the wonderful tools that allow you to remember things you think you’ve forgotten. Meditation taps into the power of the subconscious mind, which can help you retrieve memories in a healthy and natural way.

Meditation Stimulates the Brain

Your long- and short-term memories are mainly stored in two areas of the brain called the hippocampus and the frontal lobe. You stimulate both of these areas during meditation, which means you strengthen the connections within them. This gives you a greater ability to store new memories and hold onto more memories as you age.

Meditation Improves Focus

How often does someone tell you his or her name, only for you to forget it a moment later? Memory problems like this are often related more to your focus than anything else. Meditation teaches you to stay focused in the present moment, which can help you recall details better. With meditation, you can focus on actively storing important details as memories and give them significance in your mind.

There are many meditation techniques that help improve your focus. One of the most practiced technique is breathing. Whether you have a stressful job or lifestyle, you probably experience some stress. To help you reduce your stress levels, schedule a few moments each day to breathe. Regardless of where you are, it’s easy to get distracted from your tasks. Meditation helps you focus even in the middle of distractions.

Find a quiet spot at work, home, or a relaxing park. Close your eyes and slowly breathe in and out. It’s important that you find a place where you’re alone with no distractions. As you progress in your practice, you’ll learn to tune out distractions and focus anyway. However, when you’re first starting out, find a relaxing place even if you’re in your closet.

When you do this, you’ll find that your brain and body relax. You’ll feel more calm and less agitated. Research shows that when you when you spend time meditating, certain parts of the brain slow down as well.

As you age and your memories start to fade, or you have trouble remembering new information, you may think that there is nothing you can do to improve your memory. However, if you want to enhance both your short- and long-term memories, it is clear that meditation is one of the most effective ways of doing so. By strengthening your mind, improving your focus and practicing mindfulness, you may find you are better able to recall details. You might even regain some forgotten memories. The benefits of meditation are far-reaching for both your mind and your body. Make meditation a priority every day.

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