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Meditation doesn’t have to be something you always have on your ‘should do’ list. It’s fairly easy if you come into it at a pace that is suitable to you and if you approach it with an open mind and patience with your mind. We all have a ‘monkey-mind,’ having thoughts flowing in and jumping all around almost all the time, up until the moment we go to sleep. It is rare in current society for one to be calm, peaceful, relaxed and ‘thoughtless,’ when everything and everyone tells us we need to be more productive and get more things done while we’re getting other things done. No longer can we simply drive home – we have to learn languages, talk to co-workers, plan meetings, appointments and ask what’s for dinner.
5 Become More Empathetic
It sounds bizarre, but you can empathize better if you meditate. In a 2008 study in the journal PLOS One, researchers found that people had stronger activation levels in their temporal parietal junctures (a part of the brain tied to empathy), when they heard the sounds of people suffering. Empathy is important for society and relationships – we must be able to emphasize with one another to increase the value of our relationships as well as make important changes in the fabric of society – to move forward and upward rather than further away from one another and decreasing the quality of life for humanity in general.
4 Learn and Remember Better
Meditators show increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important to learning and memory. This is excellent for children and teens, who unfortunately are bombarded with messages from all sorts of media and who could use the extra ‘buffer.’ Teas like yerba mate and herbs like gingko biloba will increase the effectiveness of meditation on learning and memory.
3 Decrease Negative Effects of Stress, Depression and Anxiety
Meditators shift their brain activity from the stress-prone right frontal lobe to the calmer left frontal lobe. This has them calmer and happier than those who do not meditate. Along with good nutrition and a good body movement plan and purpose in life, negativity in the brain will largely decrease.
2 Turn Down Pain Signals
The ability to focus on specific body parts allow one to turn the focus away from painful areas more readily than someone who does not meditate. Utilizing excellent nutrition to provide the body with what it needs for healing will pack an extra punch in pain management.
1 Better Your Ability to Focus
A study in the journal Brain Research Bulletin found that meditation training allowed participants to regulate how things would affect them. Alpha waves in the brain were better controlled, allowing the cortex, where sensory information is processed, to suppress irrelevant or distracting information.
With the multitude of podcasts, CD’s, mp3’s, books and e-books on meditation, it’s fairly easy to find your way in. Just be sure not to judge yourself if you find it difficult to slow down – accept where you’re at and you’ll progress with more ease.