Meditation is a daily practice for me because it has so many benefits. But what really fascinates me is what it does to our brains!
Research suggests that meditation operates through a combination of several distinct mechanisms: attention regulation, body awareness, emotion regulation, and a change in perspective on the self.
Each component is believed to assist in various aspects of our lives, and when functioning together, the cumulative process claims to lend an enhanced capacity for self-regulation – the ability to control our own thought, affect, behavior, or attention.
The practice of meditation allows you to develop a stronger command of the mind, which stays with you long after you finish meditating.
Below is an explanation of what happens in each part of the brain during meditation…
This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-conscious awareness. During meditation, the frontal cortex tends to go offline.
This part of the brain processes sensory information about the surrounding world, orienting you in time and space. During meditation, activity in the parietal lobe slows down.
The gatekeeper for the senses, this organ focuses your attention by funneling some sensory data deeper into the brain and stopping other signals in their tracks. Meditation reduces the flow of incoming information to a trickle.
As the brain’s sentry, this structure receives incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert and ready to respond. Meditating dials back the arousal signal.
Your brain waves are also affected. In the following article, John Assaraf, a featured expert in The Secret, uses the analogy of a car’s gears to explain how meditation gives you control of your brain waves:
Train Your Brain with Meditation
by John Assaraf
(Reprinted with permission)
Meditation is what gives you control of your brain waves. Meditation trains your brain so you are able to focus on and broadcast the message of your goals and visions. Meditation makes you better attuned to receive the answers, tools and resources you need to fulfill that vision. It accomplishes this by developing your capacity to modulate and regulate the different frequencies of brain waves emitting.
The four common levels of brain waves can be compared to the four gears of an automobile, with beta being first, alpha second, theta third, and delta fourth. Most of us function in the beta range all day long. Can you imagine driving that sports car in first gear for hours at a time, with your pedal to the metal? Of course not. Yet that is essentially what most of us are doing to ourselves. We’re burning out our systems. No wonder so many of us are falling prey to stress-related illness. And no wonder the practice of meditation has such a significant beneficial impact on those same illnesses.
It isn’t that beta is bad, there’s a lot of power in first gear. That’s the gear you use when you first start out; it has the power to move the car from standing to motion. And first gear is great for treacherous conditions like slick ice. But driving around that way all day? You’ll fry your gears.
Once you’ve gotten the car rolling, you’ve got the initial information figured out, you want to drop back into second gear. As you start to do this, a fascinating thing happens. When you shift your car into second gear, the wheels start turning faster, and your car travels faster, yet your engine slows down.
How is that possible? It’s in a different gear. Less effort from the engine. Less fuel, less wear and tear. Less stress. Less heart disease, less stroke, less irritability, less frustration and anger, less depression and anxiety—and you’re getting more accomplished.
That’s also a description of your life when you regularly recondition your brain with meditation. With meditation you can acquire an awareness of who and what you really are. We can tune in to finer signals and pick up information crucial to helping us achieve our goals when we meditate and escape from our frenetic pace.
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John Assaraf is a spiritual entrepreneur and teacher with an insatiable passion for brain research, quantum physics and helping others. As a result of his passion to live an extraordinary life, he has dedicated my life to studying and applying what he has learned and then passing on the lessons to others
Meditation Has Long Term Effects on the Brain
Dr. Saputo, a leader in the holistic Health Medicine movement, promotes meditation as a way to build compassion for others, and release stress and other negative emotions that prevent us from living in the moment. He says that it has lasting effects which is great news for deliberate creators who are consciously managing their vibration.
Watch this video to hear what Dr. Saputo has to say about meditation:
Do you meditate? Let me know in the comments below 🙂