You’ve probably heard all the great things that are going around about meditation and how it can change your life, right? You’ve probably heard that it can calm you down, help you relax, relive anger and depression and a whole lot more. But just how does it actually work? If you can figure out how to meditate and change your life you’re definitely in, right? But you might be skeptical. So, here’s how it works.
Increased Cognitive Ability
When you meditate it actually helps to increase what’s called cortical thickness. This is a specific area of the hippocampus that is responsible for helping you to learn new things. As this thickness becomes larger, it actually increases the density of the gray-matter in your brain as well. And both of those things together help to improve your memory and your cognitive abilities as well. Both of these things can be instigated and improved by meditation.
Decreased Wandering of the Mind
Another area of the brain that meditation will work on is the posterior cingulate, which is related to how your mind wanders in different contexts. When you meditate, it actually increases the size and the strength of this part of the brain. Part of the reason is that meditation forces you to stay in tune with the moment and to ignore all thoughts or feelings that creep in. This gives you the ability to focus on only a singular aspect rather than being distracted by external stimuli.
Increased Physical Functioning
The pons area of the brain helps with things like your sleep, your sensory input and your facial expressions. It also helps to produce neurotransmitters that regulate activity of the brain. Meditation helps to strengthen this area of the brain, making your sleep even better and helping you to regulate your brain activity.
The area of the brain responsible for your empathy and humane feelings is called the temporo parietal junction and it can actually be strengthened by mediation as well. When you combine meditation itself with some of the effects that it has on the body, like decreasing stress and increasing in-the-moment awareness, you actually strengthen this area of the brain and you actually become a better person all around.
You’ve probably heard of the amygdala, but this is actually one of the areas of the brain that you don’t want to get too large. Luckily, when you meditate it actually causes this area of the brain to shrink. This area, which is responsible for things like stress, fear and anxiety, continues to decrease as you meditate. It never goes away entirely, of course, but it can definitely become less of an influence on your life.
When it comes down to it, you may want to learn how to meditate as quickly as you can, because it’s going to make a big difference in how you feel. Your brain is constantly changing, and if you can change it in a positive direction, that’s going to be amazing for your life.
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