Welcome, here we are going to discuss meditation and brain function briefly if you are eagerly want to know about what is this then follow the whole article. Firstly we will start with meditation. Meditation has been shown to be able to slow down and even reverse some brain functions while speeding up others, but meditation also regulates emotional responses and trains the brain to become more self-aware and less judgmental of itself and its surroundings.

What is Meditation Practice?

Effects of Meditation on the Brain

Meditation is the act of sitting or lying down and focusing on your breath, body sensations, or specific thoughts/images to train your brain.

There are many meditation techniques to choose from when you want to meditate. Some meditation techniques are aimed towards relaxation while others are meant to help people deal with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, mild cognitive impairment, or depressive symptoms.

Most long-term meditation practitioners claim mindful meditation practices helped them focus on the present moment.

Popular Meditation Techniques

Mindfulness Meditation and Concentration Meditation

There are many meditation techniques, but the two most commonly used meditation methods are mindfulness meditation practice and concentration meditation.

Mindfulness meditation training stimulates the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which is part of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The ACC is responsible for social and emotional learning or being able to recognize our own emotions or those of others. People who have suffered damage to the ACC have a hard time judging both their own and other people’s behavior, which means they can do things that seem out of character.

Concentration meditation stimulates the brain stem. The slower brain waves associated with meditation increase the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which make you feel happy. If meditation is done regularly for an extended period of time, it becomes easier to slip into the meditation state.

Other meditation types include zen meditation, transcendental meditation, compassion meditation, etc.

Where Mindfulness Practice Leads To

The science behind meditation tells us that meditation is good for the brain, but it also helps with our day-to-day lives. Meditation reduces stress and has many positive effects on the body. Some studies suggest meditation can help control blood pressure while others say meditation generally makes people fall sick less often.

Meditation is thought to improve attention, memory, and capacity for learning, but meditation has not yet been shown to help people perform better at work or school. Meditation improves behavior within the brain’s executive functions by improving our ability to focus, sustain attention, remember details, switch between tasks, and get things done quickly without making mistakes.

Ways Meditation Affects Brain Activity

Ways Meditation Affects Brain Activity
  • Meditation stimulates the anterior cingulate cortex, leading to more self-awareness and less impulsivity.
  • It slows down brain waves in the midline regions (when compared to nonmeditators);
  • Meditation reduces activation in the default mode network especially when meditation is practiced more frequently;
  • Meditation activates the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, regions involved in focused attention and awareness.

What’s it Like to Take Meditation and Brain Function Therapy?

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is relaxing and calming if done right. Meditation experts claim it can rewire the brain after just eight weeks of meditation practice.

Two-thirds of all mindfulness meditation participants saw their depressive symptoms disappear and stayed well for up to six months.

Meditative Practice and Mental Health: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Since meditation can be used for stress reduction it has also a definite effect on our memory simply for that reason. Much of our memory may be impaired through our stress response. In response to stress, next to adrenaline, cortisol may be released into our bloodstream.

Cortisol, which is not properly processed, uses up glucose leading to a deficit of fuel that is constantly required by our brain. Cortisol also interferes with the balance of neurotransmitters and causes a higher production of free radicals which damage brain cells directly. Not long ago, studies by the University of Montreal and McGill have proven the direct damage to our cognitive functions by cortisol.

Meditation and DHEA

Meditation and DHEA

From experience we already know, Deep Meditation opens up real intelligence, intuition, and creativity. In more recent years, science has given us more indications of how beneficial Meditation is for our brain and neural functions.

For example, one study compared the DHEA levels of meditators between the age of forty and fifty years with the DHEA levels of a control group of non-meditators. It was found that the meditating men had a 23% higher level of DHEA than the non-meditators and in women, the difference was even much more pronounced.

As we know now, the hormone DHEA is needed for a wide range of biological functions and a lower level of DHEA has been associated with a decreased ability to concentrate.

Other Studies That Prove Mindfulness Training Work to Improve the Human Brain

A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in January found meditation significantly increases gray matter in the hippocampus, as shown in the growth of the cortical thickness of the hippocampus. This plays a large role in learning and spatial memory.

Meditation and brain function are parallel. The researchers of the study concluded meditation can be an effective way to maximize brain function and prevent some of the effects of aging on brain structure and function.

One study also found that “mindfulness-based intervention in Parkinson’s disease leads to structural brain changes on MRI.”

Another study published by Harvard Medical School shows meditation might be able to reverse some of our worst mentally debilitating effects on the brain, including depression and anxiety.

The meditation based study was able to significantly lower the risk of relapse in participants suffering from major depressive disorder after their ten-week meditation training.

Meditation has also been shown to increase memory between 44 percent and 53 percent among participants who had never meditated before. The meditation group displayed increased connectivity between brain regions as well.

Meditation has been shown to speed up brain activity and increase creativity by over 60 percent according to a study published in the journal PLOS One. The meditation group was also able to be more accurate at identifying errors and was less likely to make them than those who didn’t meditate.

The long-term effects of meditation are being studied at Harvard University, with researchers at its affiliated institutions in recent decades trying to figure out if and how meditation works mainly using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

When transcendental meditation rose in popularity during the 1970s, Herbert Benson, a Harvard Medical School and then Beth Israel Hospital professor, began researching what he dubbed “The Relaxation Response,” which he defined as the fundamental, functional element of all types of meditation.

Beginning Your Meditation Training Journey

The journey towards inner peace can be overwhelming. There are so many meditation techniques, meditation training styles, and meditation to choose from; not to mention the power of meditation tips & tricks. With all these choices, it can take years before you find a meditation style that works for you.

To make your meditation journey easier, we should learn more about meditation and brain function health benefits and why meditation affects the human brain. Most importantly, hold on to your “why”. Why you’ve decided to have a mindfulness meditation experience and areas in your life you want to improve.

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