While people have been meditating for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the 1970s that scientists started focusing on its brainy benefits. Numerous studies suggest that regular meditation (about six hours a week) may actually change brain structure.
Here are some of the ways in which meditation can make you smarter :
- Focus – Meditation improves focus by causing an increase in cortical thickness in regions of the brain responsible for attention.
- Mood – Meditation increases dopamine and serotonin levels by stimulating regions of the brain which are associated with happiness and positivity.
- Stress Reduction – Meditation decreases stress and anxiety by down regulating cortisol and adrenaline creating a state of deep relaxation in which our breathing, pulse rate, blood pressure, and metabolism are decreased.
- Cognition – Meditation improves cognitive function, mindfulness and the ability to sustain focus by increasing grey matter, brain volumes and cerebral blood flow.
It’s also worth noting that there are many different types of meditation, and certain people may benefit more from one meditation style over another. So if you’re looking to get some big results from a little inward reflection, choose a type of meditation you like and feel most comfortable doing. From mantra to mindfulness and Zen to qigong, there are plenty of ways to get that third eye in focus.