3 Ways meditation can actually change your life
By ParentInProgress on February 12, 2013
I've always been a "show-me-the-evidence" sort of person, which makes something like meditation (and its effects on the brain) hard to comprehend. But when I read this article - especially the part about the neurologist who is also a mom dealing with similar doubts - I was intrigued:
The highlights of the article are that:
- even shortly before death, the brain has neuroplasticity (the ability to change)
- engaging in mental/brain training can change the function AND structure of the brain
- meditation cultivates mindfulness, which is awareness we get from paying attention to the present moment without judgment
What fascinates me is the idea that meditation can physically alter the brain! Here are three ways that it can change your brain and improve your life:
1. Meditation can help fight depression. When you keep thinking negative thoughts over and over again (sometimes called "ruminating), meditation can help you break that cycle by bringing your mind back to your breath (or something else). Once you realize that you are more than just your thoughts or emotions (or body), you get a new understanding of ways to live.
2. Meditation has been found to help soldiers with traumatic brain injury. It's increasingly being used to increase the speed of recovery both mentally and physically (in the amygdala).
3. Meditation has been used to fight stress for centuries. From warriors to Wall Street, the calming effects of focus and slowing down the body do wonderful things for the body.