Meditation has been around for centuries, but only recently has science begun to uncover its many benefits. Studies have shown that meditation can help improve focus, reduce stress, and even grow your brain. But how does it work?At its core, meditation is a practice of focusing your attention on an object, idea, or activity. This can be done through mindfulness meditation, which focuses on what is present in the moment, such as noise or bodily sensations.
It can also be done through insight meditation, which focuses on observing thoughts and feelings without judgment. When you meditate, new connections form in your brain. This helps you become better at getting out of your own head when your mind begins to wander. It also helps you become better at focusing your attention on the task at hand.
In fact, a study by Harvard researcher Sara Lazar found that after meditation training, changes in areas of the brain related to mood and arousal were related to improvements in the way participants said they felt. The same study also found that four regions of the meditators' brain associated with healthy brain function became more substantial, while one of the areas associated with undesirable behavior actually shrank. This suggests that meditation can help rewire your brain for better functioning. But it's not just about growing your brain. Research suggests that a single ten-minute mindfulness meditation session may improve pain tolerance, the pain threshold, and decrease pain anxiety. To practice this meditation, all you need is to find a comfortable position and start focusing your attention on your breathing. Meditation can also help you become better at managing stress and avoiding triggering your fight or flight response when something negative comes up in life.
Studies have found that the amygdala - the part of the brain associated with fear and anxiety - is physically smaller in the brains of expert meditators. So if you're looking for a way to improve your focus, reduce stress, and even grow your brain, then meditation may be just what you need. With regular practice, you can reap all the benefits that come with it.