Your brain is an unimaginably complex electrochemical organ. There is always a certain level of electrical activity, regardless of whether you are sleeping or mentally alert, whether you are involved in activities, or whether you are acquitted in meditation. Scientists have tried to determine exactly what effects meditation has on the mind and body. So far, his findings have been convincing, for example in this blog article in Scientific American. When you train your brain to be alert and relaxed during meditation, you not only increase your emotional intelligence, but also strengthen your mind. And a strong, resilient mind naturally improves physical well-being.
Benefits of meditation for the brain
Almost everyone agrees that consciousness benefits the brain in a number of ways. An article in Forbes magazine presents 7 ways in which “meditation can really change the brain.” The benefits mentioned range from improved preservation of the aged brain to better outcomes for students in school.
An eight-week study at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine’s Mindfulness Center seemed to indicate that after only two months of daily consciousness, half an hour a day, it had not only begun to change participants’ brains, but already “they felt more capable.” to act conscientiously, observing and not judging. “
There has been much talk about the effect of meditation on brain waves. When messages are transmitted between neurons, this creates a current. Scientists call brain waves “neuronal oscillations.” A widely accepted classification system ranges from the highest and most subtle to the lowest oscillation: gamma, beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Each corresponds to a certain type of activity.
Gamma waves they predominate when our minds are actively learning or in hyperactivity mode. They encourage the learning process; The information is more easily retained in the gamma state. Uncontrolled gamma waves can cause anxiety, so it was a surprise when (now famous) experiments controlling the brain waves of Tibetan meditators experienced during practice showed that their gamma waves were actually two or three times higher than the resting level, an extraordinary level of alert. even though they were in a deep, relaxed state of meditation. Monitoring also showed sustained gamma synchrony – meaning that waves from different parts of your brain were working in remarkable harmony.
Ones beta they are second in line. They usually dominate when our mind is consciously performing ordinary tasks while doing our daily tasks: planning, organizing, and so on.
The slower Alpha waves we tend to predominate when we engage in activities that relax the mind and body: walking in nature, attending a yoga class, and of course meditating. Alpha waves are also thought to protect the brain from paying too much attention to unnecessary thoughts and stimuli. It’s a lot like mindfulness, isn’t it? A Psychology Today blog suggests that “recently neuroscientists have established a correlation between an increase in alpha brain waves, either through electrical stimulation or mindfulness and meditation, and the ability to reduce depressive symptoms and increase creative thinking.”
The slower the slower Theta the waves are active during deep relaxation, dreams and … zen meditation.
Finally, Delta the waves are often associated with deep, dreamless sleep.
It is not necessary to remember all these types of brain waves, but it can be motivating to realize that modern scientific evidence confirms what meditators have known for thousands of years: meditation is good for body and soul. Just sit back, pay attention, and let your body and mind relax naturally and be alert. Brain waves will be taken care of!
Meditation develops certain areas of the brain, such as those responsible for memory, compassion, and empathy. Meanwhile, the parts of the brain associated with fear, stress, and anxiety (such as the amygdala, the center of “struggle or flight”) are beginning to shrink. Anxiety neurotransmitters may decrease, while the pleasurable dopamine neurotransmitter may increase. These and other subtle changes lead to an overall feeling of improvement in your health and well-being. For more information, see How Meditation Changes the Brain.
Expert meditation teacher Rachel Parrish says that meditation allows us to gradually change those usual patterns that we do not like ourselves. In addition, scientists have documented that meditation helps to promote resilience. According to a study by the Max Plank Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany, it also appears to improve the way people process pain by actively reducing the stress of adverse reactions to discomfort, even when meditators are not meditating. !
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