Can Meditation boost my brain?
Benefits of Meditation
Researchers and yoga practitioners have known for several years about the benefits of Meditation. It is widely known that it can release stress, elevate mood as well as normalize the blood pressure and blood sugar levels. With the advent of technology (fMRI, EEG etc) in medical science there has been a better understanding of how the structural and functional roles of the brain change with a regular practice of Meditation.
Our ancient scripts speak of the fourth level of consciousness (Turiya) which is different from the sleep, wake and dreams states of mind. This level of consciousness is one in which you are completely relaxed, calm, peaceful and alert all at the same time. Meditation takes you to the fourth state of consciousness where your right brain is in unison with the left brain. People who use both sides of the brain are supposed to be better problem-solvers, critical thinkers and high on Emotional Intelligence
The human brain is the most complex organ in the body which is responsible for the majority of functions in the body. It controls and co-ordinates, helps us to perceive, learn and memorize places, feelings and emotions. A small injury to any small part of the brain would lead to significant physical or psychological disorders. But one astonishing fact of the brain is its plasticity – ability to modify its connections.
How does meditation affect different parts of the brain?
- Meditation is believed to increase the Neuroplasticity (https://positivepsychology.com/neuroplasticity/) of the brain by making new connections between neurons. Neuroplasticity increase the brains ability to change itself. In fact, a regular practice can also generate new cells in the brain and thus improving various bodily functions. This will also slow the ageing process of the brain and thereby reducing age-related decline of cognitive functions.
- A regular 30 – minute practice of Meditation for a minimum of 8 weeks is observed to bring about changes in the Gray Matter improving memory, empathy and stress. Gray Matterin the brain consists of most of the brain’s neuronal cell bodies. It helps to process the signals generated by the sensory and muscular organs.
- Several studies have shown that meditation dramatically improves the thickness of Hippocampus thereby improving its functions. Hippocampusis a major component of the human brain as it is part of the limbic system (emotional brain) thereby controlling emotions, learning memory and motivation.
- Meditators are believed to have a thicker Corpus Callosum which helps them to use both sides of the brain simultaneously. Corpus Callosum is a large C shape nerve bundle found under the cerebral cortex. Corpus Callosum is responsible for connection the left-brain and the right brain.
There are also some studies that suggest a certain type of meditation affecting a particular part of the brain more than others. Brain being a complex organ in our body, ongoing researches will bring about newer findings about the significance of Meditation. For more information on meditation or learning how to meditate you can contact mindsupport, Trivandrum.