For those who practice it, meditation can be affirming and life-changing. In recent times, new studies have come out whose results show that the practice of meditation can positively alter the structure of the brain.
A study on meditation was recently published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, an academic journal. Conducted by clinicians from the Massachusetts General Hospital, the study observed a small number of people.
Brain imaging equipment was used to look at the subjects' brain before and after they got on a meditation class that lasted 8 weeks. The researchers got astonishing results.
Brain scans showed that after 8 weeks of meditation, the areas of the brain focusing on compassion and self-awareness had become larger, while the areas of the brain focusing on stress had become smaller. This was proof positive that meditation is beneficial to the brain. As a result, some schools are starting to teach meditation.
If your goal is to have vibrant health, it looks like you need to include meditation with proper diet and regular exercise.
There's no reason why you shouldn't add the benefits of meditation to your brain. If you want a quick way to get started, just follow these steps:
1. Set a time you can devote to meditation. You can meditate before breakfast or after dinner.
2. Start with 10-minute sessions. Each week or two, try increasing it in 5-minute increments until you're doing 30-minute sessions.
3. Meditate in a quiet spot. You can meditate in a spare room in your house, in your study, or den. You can also meditate in your bedroom, which is what I tend to do. I try to make my bedroom a relaxing, zen place so this is good for me.
If you can find a place outside to mediate, that's even better. I would like to meditate in my backyard in the warmer months, but the neighborhood pets could make this an issue.
The goal is to meditate in a place where there is little or no noise.
4. Make sure your meditation sessions won't get interrupted. If you have a family, try meditating before your spouse or kids get home from work or school. If you are an early riser, you can also try meditating before everyone is awake.
Additionally, you can let your family know what time you meditate and ask them to not interrupt you during that time.
5. Make sure there aren't any clocks around. As you meditate, you shouldn't have any clocks within your view. With meditation, the goal is taking your focus away from your surroundings. You don't want to be watching a clock as you meditate, that defeats the purpose.
6. Be comfortable. Wear clothing that provides maximum comfort for you while you meditate. Avoid wearing tight clothing or anything that can cause discomfort.
7. Find a comfortable position. Most people who practice meditation find it comfortable to sit on a soft rug, carpet, or yoga mat. If you think you need some back support, you can use your bed or sofa to lean against as you sit on the floor.
You can cross your legs if it's a comfortable position for you. As for your hands, you can clasp them loosely on your lap. You can also place each wrist on your knees, palms cupped upward in a relaxed manner.
8. Get a timer that has a gentle sound. Most people prefer to have an external stimulus to let them know that their meditation session is over.
However, you shouldn't use an alarm that will startle you. Otherwise, the purpose of meditating is defeated if you're harshly brought out of your meditative state by a shrill or loud noise.
Try finding a soothing ring tone in your cell phone and use it as your alarm. A harp, gong, or sonar alarm are particularly good sounds to help you signal the end of your session.
9. Meditate. You've got everything all set. All you need is to get comfortable. You can close your eyes or affix your gaze on an object, such as a picture of a sunrise or a vase of flowers.
Next, breathe. With each breath, clear your mind. If you find your mind wandering, simply bring back your focus on your breathing.
Once you've had enough practice, it will become easy for you to go into an altered state. You'll soon feel peace. When you hear your timer, don't get up right away. Give yourself a few seconds and then slowly get up from your sitting position and go back to normal.
Try meditating at least two times a day for 10 minutes at a time and it won't be long until you see amazing results.
You can truly alter your brain through daily meditation. You can look forward to having a more fulfilling life, one where your relationships with yourself and others are so much healthier and better.
Do you meditate? Have you noticed a difference since you began meditating regularly?