Meditation and Neurogenesis.
Meditation gives us the impression we are just releasing tension and mental stress. This is our time out. A space we can create to be more present. And, an opportunity to choose to let distractions slip into the background.
Would it surprise you to discover that meditation can expand cognitive function and invite the brain to create more neural-networks to accommodate them? Neuroscientists that have analyzed data on meditating subjects found that meditation “dramatically increases “hippocampal cortical thickness,” with magnitude determined by experience. [ Harvard University Neuroscientist Dr. Sara Lazar]
The white matter in the brain that improves connectivity to other parts of the brain also increases with meditation. The myelin that covers and protects the neurons is strengthened. This speeds up connections and enables you to think more quickly and stay balanced.
The belief that we are losing our brain capacity over time has now been proven to be false. Prevention and in fact, improvements in mental circuitry can be encouraged through meditation. Meditation, especially if it is consistent, will shift your neuro-chemistry, relieve stress and trigger neuron-building that is beneficial to cognitive health.
Super-Learning and Improved Memory.
As you relax into mindfulness or engage in any meditation , with experience, you will become more present. Things that would not have crossed your mental radar will loom in front of your inner screen. It could be a specific detail, where you were when you noticed X, or even how you might have been feeling in response to something. All of these are recorded in that moment and location.
This becomes a super learning tool and encourages you to remember. Details are noticed, enhanced and recorded to memory. Over time, awareness of the moment becomes a wonderful tool to help you focus and to be able to recall important and related information, if it is needed.
Shifting Neurochemistry and Mindset.
In a state of relaxation the body moves from an active Beta brain state to a more relaxed, Alpha state. Deep breathing and visualization and exercise also activate Alpha states and help calm the mind. This state has also been linked to boosting creativity and for reducing depression symptoms. [Psychology Today]
We know it is possible to reduce anxiety with breathing techniques, visualization and meditation. But did you know it is possible to change electrical activity in the brain with meditation?
“A staggering discovery, the greenhorn meditators had effectively silenced the “electrical activity” within their primitive amygdala(e), and in effect, had far fewer “anxiety, worry, and fear signals” bouncing around their beautiful brains. ” [ Science Daily]
Calming and profoundly shifting the intensity of anxiety and worry, meditation is essential for managing personal stress and for improving mindset. It has even been linked to “rejuvenation”.
For instance, through consistent practice, it is possible to enter into a Delta brain wave state. This state of deep rest allows the body to shift its biochemistry. Anti-aging neuro-chemicals, glutathiones [an anti-oxidant] has been shown to be boosted by as much as 41%. And, Human Growth Hormone [ responsible for cellular repair and renewal] was also released in a Delta brain wave state.
Use meditation to be more focused and aware while still reaping the benefits of “rejuvenation”, stress-relief and improved cognitive function.
Improve Focus and Awareness.
Meditation demands more awareness. Awareness of the mind, the body and the spirit. Greater understanding of your state in the present moment challenges you to acknowledge it and to move through it, learning how YOU are meeting the moment as YOU.
Through greater awareness, observation skills are amplified. Improvements in brain efficiency strengthens your capacity to sharpen your focus and zero in on specific details. Meditation trains us to be more self-aware and to notice subtle changes in the moment. We also realize that we have the power to focus on what we choose to focus on. And , that decision to focus impacts our perception of the world, our present moment and how we feel.
We are empowering ourselves and improving our cognitive health through meditative practices. When we meditate, we remove ourselves for a moment to relax and become more aware. No longer tethered to external conditions and our own conditioning, we are free to notice and decide. Through simple changes we can relax into the path of higher performance.
Lightspeed’s favourite meditation for greater focus and memory. Meditation for Mental Clarity and Enhanced Memory. In this visual meditation, clear out mental cobwebs and create an information superhighway to enhance memory.