Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density as originally seen in the Journal of Psychiatric Research
This is the article I was working on last Monday when the vacuum cleaner salesman showed up offering to deep clean my carpet if I listened to his spiel. Sorry, not sorry; couldn’t pass that up. BUT back to research!
What’s important to me in this article is the location of the increased amount of brain gray matter– the hippocampus. The hippocampus is integral in learning new things. So as a result of knowing that, I would assume that meditation increases your ability to learn new things.
Increasing brain matter in the frontal lobe is a good thing of note for your physical body as well. The frontal lobe is responsible for higher level thought processes like problem solving. Having an improved ability to problem solve never hurts anyone, but would be especially beneficial to those that can’t problem solve well enough to keep themselves out of trouble.
So, how does one meditate exactly? I’ll steer you toward wikiHow’s article for more specifics on the different types of meditation, how to prepare to meditate and how to complete a session.
One of my recent student observers was forever poking fun at my, “I have an app for that,” response for nearly everything.
There’s a meditation app I love. It’s called Insight Timer. It has a simple timer, but it also has guided meditations, body scans, prayers, and so much more. Plus it tracks when you meditate and plugs you into a community of meditators. I use it personally, but also professionally.
Living in the South in the buckle of the Bible belt, many people I work with are very resistant to “meditation,” because that word has eastern religion connotations. So I don’t use that word in practice; I call it listening. Whether you’re listening to your body or listening to God, it means you’re quieting yourself.