Learn About the Importance of Your Mind and Meditation

What is Meditation? Meditation is a very beneficial health and lifestyle practice. Emerging research points to the healthfulness of meditation and research indicate that mindful meditation can actually rewire the brain to respond differently to stress. There are many things to know about meditation and health. So how does meditation lead to improved mindfulness? Find out more about your mind and meditation.

Brain Changes

Meditation triggers important changes in your brain, not simply by reducing the mental effects of stress, but by literally rewiring your brain to help you think differently. Talk about getting a fresh perspective!

Rerouting the “Me” Center

One of the most important conclusions from meditation and the brain research shows that meditation actually causes the brain to reroute thoughts, including sensory receptors that interpret fear, away from different portions of the brain that are “me-centric.” The brain’s default mode network, which controls wandering self-centric thoughts, gets a bit of a reboot during meditation. When you’re at rest, your default thoughts wander into daydreams. These wandering thoughts can lead to depressive thoughts and worry about the future. Meditation channels your resting thoughts away from your default mode network and helps to quiet the sometimes loud, distracting and wandering thoughts. Meditation brings about a mindfulness that channels your quiet energy to more positive thoughts.

Grow Your Grey Matter

The brain is a responsive organ that is impacted by the decisions that you make and activities that you engage in. Due to this nature, repetitive meditation can have an actual physical effect on your brain itself. Studies show that consistent meditation over the course of eight weeks or longer has a profound effect on the cortical thickness of the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that controls memory and learning. If meditation changes brain 8 weeks after starting the practice, it’s surely a powerful tool for health and wellness.

Benefits of Meditation

Reduce Stress

While reducing stress is probably the number one reason that people initially get into meditation, it’s been difficult to prove until recently. Brain scans of individuals who meditate regularly show a decrease in the amygdala, which is responsible for processing fear and stress. The scans alone did not prove any reduction in the stress levels and anxiety of participants. However, in self-reports from study members, these individuals indicated emotional improvement and an overall feeling of lessened anxiety.

Learning Leaps

The impact of meditation has also been studied in children to determine whether the practice is ideal for the younger set. Overwhelmingly, the answer to this question is “yes”. Children and adults who practice meditation improved their cognitive abilities to reason and comprehend reading material. Meditation also helps to improve overall concentration that helps to combat the natural edginess and distraction that accompany disorders like ADD and ADHD. These are clearly wonderful benefits of meditation practice.

Make a Personal Connection

Meditation is also very useful in daily life situations. Because it helps to direct thoughts from the me-centric portions of the brain and reduces stress and anxiety, meditation has been shown to help people connect better with others.

Develop an Open Mind

In conjunction with directing thoughts from the parts of the brain that facilitate self-destructive thinking and anxiety, meditation opens new channels to the assessment center. This part of the brain categorizes your experiences realistically and better. For example, the assessment center helps you to contextualize off-putting comments from others rather than internalizing them as insults or personal slights. This type of nuanced thought process, which emphasizes reality and downplays your own natural diversion into wandering and unbidden thoughts, gives you an improved understanding of others. Understanding others is the first component of developing tolerance and compassion for those who differ from you. Understanding, in turn, is critical to forming long-lasting and worthwhile relationships.

Reduce Social Anxiety

As with the propensity that meditation has for helping individuals to reduce their general anxieties, it can also help to reduce social anxiety in those who suffer from it. How does meditation help in social situations? Reduced stress and rerouted thoughts give those who practice meditation an improved sense of confidence in social situations. This helps to open doors to new friendships and relationships, both with other mindful individuals and others you encounter in day-to-day life. If you have a hard time in certain social events, meditation techniques can help you overcome these issues.

Proper Meditation Makes a Difference

So how does meditation help your everyday life? Using proper meditation techniques is essential for unlocking the benefits of improved mindfulness. A meditation coach or guide can help you to better understand your body and teach you the proper ways to relax and engage in the act of meditation. Improper meditation can inhibit your ability to fully experience the benefits of meditation, so proper practice is definitely crucial.

Consistency Counts

In addition to proper practice, you need to understand the importance of regular meditation and implement a regular schedule for meditation. Daily meditation is best, if at all possible. Engaging in meditative practice allows you to enjoy the benefits of renewed mindfulness and keeps the new brain pathways in good working order. When you neglect regular meditation, your brain will inevitably revert back to its original thought processes due to brain plasticity. Regular meditation keeps brain pathways sharp and ingrained.

Daily meditation gives you the power to unlock all kinds of new brain potential. Think of the amazing things you can accomplish!

What Is Meditation Used For?

As we’ve discussed above, meditation has numerous benefits for the mind and the body. The importance of meditation goes beyond keeping your body healthy. It involves the mind as well. Even if you simply practice breathing for a few minutes each day, your mental and physical health will improve.

Meditation forces your mind to quiet down and organize any chaos that’s crowding out your brain. Even if your body is resting it doesn’t help if your mind is busy. By resting both mind and body, you train yourself to relax. This takes time and patience but it’s worth every moment.

Meditation And Health Benefits

We’ve seen that meditation improves brain function, reduces stress, and lowers anxiety. Studies also show that meditation helps your emotional well-being and keeps your blood pressure low. When you practice meditation you’re more calm and less likely to deal with tension. Engaging in this practice promotes better sleep which leads to eating healthier and embracing a happy life.

While keeping a routine practice is helpful, you don’t need to keep the same schedule each day. The important thing is to just practice and not neglect mindfulness. Carve out a few minutes to stay quiet and practice focused breathing.

From reducing anxiety to increasing your overall mindfulness, proper meditative practices can unlock for you a whole new world of understanding.

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