This is How Meditation Hacks Your Brain

If you had a look at the news lately, you might have come across a rather strange but also interesting craze: a new trend among gamers called “competitive meditation”. It’s a sport where competitors wear special headbands that supposedly read every participant’s mind and the winner is the one with the quietest and calmest mind.

Whatever your opinion on this phenomenon might be, but in my opinion this craze shows how popular mindfulness and meditation have gotten over the past years and this is something that I always support, because meditation can never be popular enough.

Researchers have also proven on many occasions that meditation offers a variety of neurological benefits which I am sure you are already aware of. However, there are still many benefits that are being discovered on a daily basis, so I thought I’d update you on some of the most important and fascinating ways in which meditation can hack your brain:

1) Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

I know that I have talked about mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) before, but I thought I’d provide you with some interesting news on the effects that this special stress releasing technique has to offer:
MSBR changes your brain structure in just 8 weeks. While one the one hand EEGs showed that the hippocampus’ cortical thickness increases, thus leading to enhanced concentration and memory levels, on the other hand, the amygdala (see below), which is responsible for feelings of fear and anxiety, decreases in brain cell volume, which means that individuals are more confident and less anxious in social situations. However, in order to achieve tangible results, it is essential to remember that daily practice and consistency is the key!

Image description: A brain scan comparison of a brain before practising meditation and after practising it regularly. Source: The Harvard Gazette / Courtesy of Gaelle Desbordes

2) Mediation Stops Your Brain from Aging

Fantastic news for yogis and yoginis over 50: Meditation halts the aging process of your brain! Being 52 years old myself, I have come to realise that training my mind through the practice of meditation is probably as important as exercising my body (if not even more)! We all know that as we grow older, our brain starts to lose grey matter, which is essential for our memory. Researchers at the UCLA found out that meditation contributes to the preservation of these cells – throughout the whole brain! Plus, this does not only have an effect on your mind, but also on your looks: Long-term meditators at 50 years old looked on average 7.5 years younger!

What is your opinion? Do you think that meditation can have such a powerful effect? Also, I am planning on organising yoga and sailing retreats with varying themes, for example spiritual retreats that mainly focus on different types of meditation. Would you be interested in such a meditation and sailing cruise?

Let me know in the comments down below what you think! 🙂

Image description: A field of sunflowers

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004979/#
https:// news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/harvard-researchers-study-how-mindfulness-may-change-the-brain-in-depressed-patients/
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01551/full

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2 thoughts on “This is How Meditation Hacks Your Brain”

  • Yes Dear Natasha, it is the same situation with me – 60 years old, some 10 years yoga and meditation practitioner! I’m not sure if I look younger, people say some 15 years even, but, the mobility and (the effect of) positivity I receive every time after finishing my yoga/med protocol – is amazing…
    Thank You for sharing these important info about the effects of meditation on the brain functions, and, of course – I’m “voting” for examining millions of games where meditation will be a part ….
    Stay YOUNG!

  • Over the time we meditate, we learn how to live each day connected to our present-moment awareness. In this expanded state of awareness, we are able to tune into the presence of miracles and see with the eyes of love. 
    Thanks for sharing your experience!!!
    Stay tuned 🙏🙏🙏

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