How does meditation improve your mind? Here are some interesting facts about meditation and the brain and why you should consider trying it.
The human mind is incredibly powerful. It can be both useful and destructive. Believe it or not, the mind is also very malleable.
In recent years science has begun to discover connections between meditation and the brain. Meditation is the ancient practice of simply sitting alone in a quiet place while consciously paying attention to your thoughts.
This article takes a look at facts about meditation that might surprise you. Keep reading to learn ways that you can improve your life in just a few short minutes each day while following the path of enlightenment.
1. Increase Self-Awareness
Have you ever paused for a moment to watch your thoughts? One of the things that mindfulness meditation has taught us is that your thoughts are separate from who you are. They are not your identity.
The fact that you can observe your thoughts floating across your mind shows that they are simply objects within your consciousness to be aware of. We don’t actually think, thinking happens to us.
Meditation allows you to separate yourself from your thoughts, thus increasing your self-awareness. You have the power to ignore the negative voice in your head and realize that it is nothing but a conditioned recording and has nothing to do with facts or truth.
2. Reduce Stress
Believe it or not, stress is the result of stressful thoughts. Over the course of your lifetime, your mind has been conditioned to generate certain types of thoughts based on outside events. And yet those thoughts derive from your perception of events.
When you meditate, the negative voice in the head causing you to experience stress begins to quiet down. This results in a noticeable stress reduction.
Meditation is a powerful tool that enables you to see stress for what it really is. Stress is merely a thought pattern, and meditation creates distance between that thought pattern and your conscious self.
3. Improves Your Quality of Sleep
Do you ever have trouble falling asleep because you can’t turn off your mind? The beauty of meditation is that it helps the mind to settle.
We recommend taking 10 or 15 minutes before bed to meditate. After all, you’re at the end of a busy day, and your mind is still solving problems, thinking about the past, and making plans for the future. But this is bedtime and you need to put those thoughts aside until morning.
Meditation is a tool that helps you to relax so that you can find a peaceful space for enjoying a night of restful sleep.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
Your brain controls every function within your body. Thus when you’re able to reduce the amount of stress on the mind, you’ll, in turn, reduce the impact mental stress has on the body.
One significant benefit meditation has on the body is the potential to lower blood pressure. After all, stress is a major contributing factor to elevated blood pressure in many people.
We encourage you to monitor your blood pressure before and after meditating so that you can see first-hand the actual immediate impact it can have on your physical well-being.
5. Increase Problem Solving Ability
Two important parts of your brain are the amygdala and the hippocampus. The amygdala is purely reactive and judges everything in the world around you as a potential threat, while the hippocampus is more rational. The problem is that the signals from the amygdala travel much faster through the body.
The vast majority of our responses to any given situation are conditioned responses. Many people panic when there is an emergency. And because the body believes anything the mind tells it, it will often react to a minor problem as it would to a major emergency.
Meditation helps to slows thing down so that you can think more clearly and rationally. The solution to the problem is likely right there in front of you. But you won’t be able to see it if your thoughts are racing and muddled.
6. Helps You to Focus Better
Taking control of your thought patterns helps you focus better. Meditation clears the mental waters so that you are focusing less energy on things that don’t matter.
Be sure to check out how Buddhist beads can make your meditation experience more meaningful.
7. Improves Decision-Making
As with problem-solving and focus, meditation helps you to be able to think more clearly and rationally. This helps you to be able to make better decisions, especially when it matters most.
8. Improves Mood
Anyone who has practiced meditation for even a short amount of time will likely attest to the fact that it improves your outlook on life and thus elevates mood.
After all, it’s logical that reducing the amount of stress in your life would put you in a better mood. As you’re able to assess problems with greater perspective, you will be able to see that life is better than the voice in your head has led you to believe.
9. Increase Attention Span
Do you ever find yourself becoming restless easily? It’s interesting to note how hard it is to simply sit still and do nothing. We tend to get fidgety and want to move around. It can be a challenge to pay attention sometimes, especially if we find the topic boring.
Why is this? Why is the attention span of the mind so short?
Mindfulness meditation teaches us to be comfortable with boredom, and to simply be aware that we are bored and that our attention is drifting to other things.
Important Links Between Meditation and the Brain
Meditation and the brain are more interconnected than many people might imagine.
It’s important to remember that mediation is a tool that can actually make the mind stronger and more effective, and that we don’t have to live at the mercy of the mind. We can change it so that it works for us rather than against us.
Read next: The powerful link between yoga and body satisfaction.