Saturday, August 13, 2022

What Meditation Does To The Brain

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Cfs Also Known As Me Is A Disabling And Complex Long

The Meditating Brain

It is characterised by a range of symptoms including muscle pain with intense physical or mental exhaustion, relapses, and specific cognitive disabilities. One of the hallmark symptoms of ME/CFS is post-exertional malaise, which is an abnormal and extreme upswing in symptoms after exertion. The amount of exertion it takes varies by person, but it leaves them unable to do the same amount of activity the following day, which is unusual and unique to this disease. Generally symptoms last at least six months and cannot be attributed to any other condition.

How Transcendental Meditation Alters The Brain

Transcendental meditation involves sitting with eyes shut for 1520 minutes twice a day while saying a mantra. The practice has several advantages for mental health but, until now, it was unclear how those effects came about.

TM differs from other meditation practices in that it does not require concentration or visualization.

Instead, TM practitioners come up with a mantra, which is a word or phrase that has no real meaning.

The practitioners silently think this mantra, allowing the mind to naturally transcend, while both the mind and body remain awake, yet relaxed.

Most people can learn TM in a few months, and benefits from regular practice may include reduced feelings of stress and anxiety in a persons everyday life.

Research has found some evidence of this. A 2013 study, appearing in Military Medicine, listed TM as a feasible treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in active-duty military personnel.

Similarly, a study appearing in in 2014, concluded that a TM program was effective in reducing psychological distress in teachers.

A 2016 study from the same journal found significant reductions in symptoms of trauma, anxiety, and depression in prison inmates who practiced TM.

With benefits seen in a relatively short period, one field of study has dived deeper into TM to find out exactly how it helps.

Now, new findings published in Brain and Cognition point to measurable functional effects in the brain of TM practitioners.

Some Of The Best Foods For Anxiety And Depression

When it comes to the influence our diet has on our mental health, the variety of foods we eat becomes very important.

Key principles in your diet:

Anti-inflammatory foods focus on including foods such as oily fish, herbs and spices.

Colourful foods aim for half a plate of a variety of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens at every meal.

Diversity of foods focus on a wide range of foods at each meal that also changes day-to-day if possible, is optimal.

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They Experience Less Fatigue

For a small study in January 2017, researchers had over a dozen participants aged 24 to 76 spend a week at a spiritual retreat that involved silent contemplation and reflection. The researchers scanned the brains of their participants before and after to observe the behavior of two chemicals linked with mood dopamine and serotonin. They also had participants complete surveys to gauge their physical health, stress, and fatigue. After the retreat, the participants’ survey responses suggested they saw appeared to decrease. The brain scans done before and after the retreat also revealed small decreases in dopamine and serotonin transporter binding, which might have made more of those neurotransmitters available to the brain.

Meditation: A Workout For The Brain

Harvard study unveils what meditation literally does to the brain

Meditation has been widely promoted across the world. One of the most well-loved, well-being practices meditation is more than just relaxing your body and senses. If performed correctly, meditation is a workout for your brain.

We all know that meditation has ancient roots and there is a reason why it is still relevant. Practicing mindfulness trains the brain to function at its optimum level. It goes without saying that our overtaxed brain needs to relax, but with towering responsibilities, most of us might find it difficult to stop our brain from going on an overdrive. The transformative power of meditation has helped people in changing their lives for the better. But many of us find meditation to be intimidating. Just invest 10 minutes of your day in this brain exercise, and you will notice the positive changes it imbibes.

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Increase In Compassion And Empathy

Research into the effects of meditation has shown that empathy and compassionate behaviour are higher among people who meditate regularly. Studies showed that participants who meditated regularly could focus their attention and reduce emotional responses to images of other people who were either good, bad, or neutral. Even when they werent in a meditative state, they were able to achieve this feat. When they were shown disturbing images, they also experienced more compassion for other people.

Part of this comes down to activity in the amygdala, which deals with processing emotions. When meditating, this part of the brain normally shows decreased activity, however, in this experiment, it showed increased activity when participants were shown images.

Another study found that people who meditated regularly had stronger activation levels in their temporal parietal junctures when they heard the sounds of people suffering than those who didnt meditate.

The importance of empathy and compassion to the practice of meditation is underlined by the amount of compassion-based practices that exist within traditional meditative disciplines. One such technique is Tonglen Meditation, which involves aligning your breathing with reflections on the suffering of others. Another is sympathetic joy meditation, which is all about cultivating joy and elation for the happiness of others.

Mindfulness To Manage Your Mood And Well

Like exercise for your body, meditation helps to condition your mind. Confronting and letting go of unwanted psychological states, like anxiety and fear, releases their hold and the associated conditioned response. Studies now prove control over your internal experience, once thought to be fixed, can be altered with the simple practice of mindfulness.

Though not a cure for chronic emotional and psychological stress disorders, meditation has many extraordinary benefits for mood and overall well-being. A few minutes of mindfulness and meditating can help hold off overwhelming emotion and guard against the powerful thought patterns that fund unproductive worries.

Heres a small slice of the research backing mindfulness and meditation benefits for the brain:

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Keeping The Emotions In Control

Meditation affects the pre-frontal cortex of your brain, which is busy making decisions and analyzing life around you. This part of the brain is responsible for problem solving and regulating emotions. The more grey matter we have in this part of the brain, the better we are able to deal with our emotions and feelings.

It May Also Help Improve Our Memory Though Researchers Aren’t Sure Precisely How

How Does Meditation Change the Brain? – Instant Egghead #54

Experienced meditators appear to have unique brains with well-developed regions that may be connected to things like awareness and emotional control. Even in people new to meditation, some studies suggest the practice is linked with significant changes in parts of the brain linked with memory, perspective, and self-awareness.

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Include Oily Fish In Your Diet For Mental Health

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 essential fatty acids help to lower inflammation in the brain by protecting neurons and individuals with higher levels of omega-3 in their diets tend to have a lower incidence of major depressive disorder.

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid because it must be obtained from dietary sources as the body cannot produce it.

Food sources include:

  • Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring
  • Grass-fed beef also contains alpha linolenic acid, which the body can convert into omega-3
  • Plant based sources include edamame, walnuts and chia seeds, however this is much harder to convert and an additional vegan algae supplement would be recommended.

A Lifetime Of Benefits: So Why Dont More People Meditate

Many people, when given the advice, You should try meditating! disregard this as very cliche advice. Some people think of meditation as a gimmick, and dont realize how much it can actually do for them.Try it out and see for yourself. At first, it may seem impossible to find the time to meditate. Youll struggle to clear your mind completely while meditating, which is normal. Part of the reason this happens is that while youre taking the time to meditate, youre literally thinking about all the other things on your to-do list you should be doing instead. However, in the big picture, meditation helps you tackle your to-do list and more much more effectively. It improves brain function. All you need is about ten minutes per day to try this life-enhancing practise, and your brain will thank you for it.

If you would like more tips on how to improve your health, including information about the best diet to follow based on your genetics, get a comprehensive health report from CircleDNA.

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How Long Does Meditation Take To Change Your Brain

Different studies have come up with different answers to this question, but generally speaking, its likely to take at least 8 weeks to see significant changes to your behaviours and/or your brain activity. But everyone is different, so dont worry if it takes longer, or shorter. It all depends on how receptive you are or how often you do the practices.

MindOwl Founder My own struggles in life have led me to this path of understanding the human condition. I graduated with a bachelors degree in philosophy before completing a masters degree in psychology at Regents University London. I then completed a postgraduate diploma in philosophical counselling before being trained in ACT .Ive spent the last eight years studying the encounter of meditative practices with modern psychology.

I graduated from the University of Salford with a 2:1 Honours in English and Creative Writing. Since I graduated I have honed my skills as an editor and writer through creating copy for websites, blogs, and social media for the University of Salford and Noctivigant Press.

With joining MindOwl, I have been able to learn and grow in the area of Mindfulness, this has widened my perspective and broadened my horizons on many topics such as positive thinking, mental health, and emotional intelligence.

In this video, we explore the concept of equanimity and its importance in meditation. Equanimity is …

Tune Into Greater Attention And Focus

cognitive neuroscience

Everyones mind gets distracted. It could be putting off homework, losing track of your words mid-sentence, or thinking about work while your significant other tells you about their day. Humans developed selective focus as a coping mechanism for dangerous threats in the ancient past.

Today, there are fewer physical threats to worry about. Instead, people ruminate psychologically, letting worry and anxiety overtake the present with past emotional pain or future anxiety.

Your brain naturally, easily slides into boredom, so it may welcome distractions. A default-mode network of neurons is associated with mind wanderingalso called the monkey mind. But scientists have found that abnormalities in this system of the brain can lead to anxiety, depression, attention disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Meditation allows you to be in the present moment, a timeframe associated with feelings of happiness. It can increase your attention span and combat mind wandering and excessive self-referential thoughts. With over-activity, these unhealthy states of mind can lead to a state of unhappiness.

Mindfulness helps you focus and ignore the distractions around you. It also helps to hone your ability to notice more in your environment. This gives you access to the present moment with a fuller perspective of your experience. Managing your monkey mind through daily meditation is a simple and easy first line of defense for endless modern-day distractions.

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What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder

GAD is a common anxiety disorder, estimated to affect up to 5% of the UK population. Slightly more women are affected than men, and the condition is more common in people from the ages of 35 to 59. Unlike a phobia, where your fear is connected to a specific thing or situation, the anxiety of GAD is a general feeling of dread or unease that affects your whole life.

GAD involves constant and chronic worrying, nervousness, and tension. People with GAD find it difficult to control their worry and may be overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. This anxiety is less intense than a panic attack, but longer lasting, making relaxation very difficult.

Sounds Of Nature For Meditation

Sounds of nature are often said to be soothing and can help you feel more relaxed.

If you have trouble meditating on your own, try listening to some calming songs with some music or natural sounds in the background.

You may find it easier to focus when there is no noise around you. Stress and anxiety have been shown to decrease by using this method.

Some people even say that they sleep better after listening to these types of noises.

People all around the world, in cities and rural areas alike, are looking for the chance to escape the chaos of modern life.

One way to find peace is through meditation, which has been practiced for thousands of years.

There are many ways that people can meditate on their own or with others, but there are also some natural sounds that can be used as a source of inspiration for meditation.

Meditation can help people relax and clear their minds while improving their quality of life.

Some people need to turn to more traditional and natural ways of attaining calming state, such as through meditation.

A simple and inexpensive way to achieve this is by listening to the sounds of nature.

The soundscape of nature has been shown to have an effect on our brains similar to what we experience when meditating.

This includes slowing down heart rate, lowering blood pressure, decreasing cortisol levels, increasing alpha waves , and improving sleep quality.

Nature is an incredible way to find peace.

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Effects Of Meditation On The Brain

In an interview in the Washington Post, Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar gives an introduction to how meditation affects the brain. She explains how four regions of meditators brains associated with healthy brain function become more substantial, while one of the areas associated with undesirable behavior actually shrinks. Lets have a look at these areas.

The Connection Between Attention Awareness And Emotion

How does Transcendental Meditation change the brain?

Imagine your doctor told you they had a magic pill that would make you feel much better. It would improve your concentration and sleep, improve your relationships, and generally make you feel happier and more content throughout the inevitable stresses and strains of life. There would be no negative side effects

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Developing A Meditation Practice

Psychologist Lori Ryland, PhD, serves as chief clinical officer at Pinnacle Treatment Centers, where meditation is a common strategy for treating mental illness and addiction. She notes that, with a regular meditation practice, you reap the mental benefits of setting aside time to focus on living in the present moment.

One will likely discover that when our thoughts and stressors kick into a negative spiral, it is rarely what is happening now that is the problem, she says. Most of the time, we are ruminating about mistakes weve made in the past, hurts inflicted on us in the past, or worries about what might happen in the future that we may not be able to control. A daily meditation practice improves ability to return to the present moment and improve our response to now.

Mirroring the uniqueness of every individual, no form of meditation is one-size-fits-all. It takes time to cultivate a practice that works for you.

The meditation practice you develop will be very personal to you, Ryland says. The best way to start is to fit practice into your life in a sustainable manner. If you have an hour to meditate per day, thats great. If you only have 10 minutes, also great. The point is to establish a practice and stick with it.

The Effect Of Alcohol On The Immune System

Healthy habits, such as being active, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep, can keep your immune system strong. But unhealthy factors, like stress, smoking, or drinking alcohol, can be taxing for your immune system and make it harder for it to fight off infection.

Drinking gives your body work to do that keeps it from other processes. Once you take a drink, your body makes metabolising it a priority above processing anything else. Unlike proteins, carbohydrates and fats, your body doesnt have a way to store alcohol, so it has to move to the front of the metabolising line. This is why it affects your liver, as its your livers job to detoxify and remove alcohol from your blood.

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You Become Great At Adapting To Changes

Cognitive flexibility is the vital function thats been described as the ability to adapt behaviors in response to changes occurred in the environment.

Imagine if you started to live in a new country, your level of cognitive flexibility will determine how fast you can adjust to all the changes to your environment such as having the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car, learning the local language and figuring out the nuances of the new culture.

Meditators performed significantly better than non-meditators as examined in a study which brought participants through exercises that tested cognitive flexibility. The study indicated that mindfulness is closely linked to improvements to cognitive flexibility.

So if youre ever having trouble adjusting to a new situation, maybe a little meditation will solve your problem.

How Meditation Affects The Brain

What Meditation Is About and What It Does To The Brain

Theres no doubt that meditation provides a bountiful list of benefits for both our minds and bodies. But what exactly is causing all of these positive effects? What is happening to our brains when we engage in meditation and mindfulness practices? In what ways does meditation affect the brain? Research on how meditation affects the brain has been steadily growing throughout the years, with the help of fMRI and EEG technology. Modern technology has quickly advanced a more developed understanding of whats going on in our brain when we meditate. These procedures that measure brain activity reveal a variety of neurological benefits when we practice meditation.

In particular, the main observed difference is how the brain actually stops processing information as actively when engaging in mindfulness. Meditation prompts a decrease in beta waves, which are generated when the brain is aroused and engaged in mental activities. Studies reveal that an overflow of beta waves can cause anxiety, stress, high arousal, and the inability to relax. On the contrary, meditation dramatically reduces beta waves in our brains, leading to conscious focus and improved concentration. The shift of the brain waves from a higher frequency to a lower frequency is what ultimately affects how you think and feel. Here are some other fascinating ways that meditation affects the brain:

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