Meditation – Benefits for your Brain

Mar 8, 2024
6 mins
Lucy Brooks

Discover meditation's myriad benefits for mind and body. Start with guided sessions for focus and relaxation. Find tranquility amid life's chaos, enhance cognitive function, and foster overall well-being.

Mediation has many benefits, both for the brain and the body. You can practice meditation in lots of formats. None of them is right or wrong, and all have significant short- and long-term benefits.

So, what is meditation?

There are a few descriptions and definitions – I would describe it as the ability to relax, focus and clear your mind.

We all have busy lives and can’t often clear our minds. If you haven’t meditated before or struggle to turn the world off, start your practice with a guided meditation by joining a class or using a recording/app.

What can mediation do for your grey-and-white matter? 10 Brain Benefits below:

  • Increases attention span and concentration - We all find ourselves daydreaming and losing focus; regular meditation can strengthen your brain and improve your attention span.
  • Increase your grey matter: Studies show that regular meditation can increase the density of your grey matter in the brain, which is responsible for stress management, self-worth, memory, and empathy.
  • Improves sleep – Relaxing and focusing the mind can help you sleep better. You will learn to trigger your relaxation response, clear your mind, and reduce worry to drop off to a natural, refreshing sleep.
  • Decreases anxiety – Slowing your breathing and your mind can assist you in restoring your inner peace and calm. With practice, you can push away the worry and negative thoughts that create anxiety.
  • Reduces depression - Meditation trains the brain to become calm and focused, which can help those experiencing depression to detach themselves from negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Increasing your white matter: Meditation has been shown to help increase white matter in the brain. And when white matter increases, your brain develops stronger, healthier neural communication pathways between the different areas.
  • Speeds up your stress recovery: Studies show that people who meditate regularly can calm the storm quickly. They bounce back quicker from a stressful event or situation, have a faster cortisol recovery, and are less self-conscious and judgemental.
  • Calms the ‘Monkey Mind’ – Imagine you are a monkey in the jungle, jumping from branch to branch, always on high alert for danger. Our minds can sometimes go into this state, always on the go, jumping to conclusions, always ready to ‘fight or flight’ in action mode. Regular meditation can calm your monkey mind.
  • Reduces brain degeneration - It has been suggested that meditation is associated with neuroplasticity phenomena, reducing age-related brain degeneration, and improving cognitive functions.
  • Can help you overcome addiction - With this, someone with trouble focusing on daily activities and craving substances instead can learn present-moment awareness through the breath. Studies show that people who use substances to cope with stressful situations can learn to calm their triggers with meditation.

Overall, mediation has many benefits for the brain, improving how it functions, improving sleep, and reducing anxiety, depression, and brain ageing. So, what do you have to lose?

You may not be ready to try out a class straight away, so why not try 10 minutes a day at home?

How too below:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable space. This should be a place where you can relax without being interrupted or distracted.
  • Sit comfortably. You can use a chair, a cushion, or even your bed. The key is to maintain good posture without feeling strained.
  • Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Pay attention to the movement of your breath going in and out.
  • Let your thoughts flow freely. Don’t suppress or follow them. Simply observe them without judgment.

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