The human brain is incredibly complex, 90% of its activity occurs beneath conscious awareness, which means that even though we assume that we have some control of how we think, feel and behave, modern science suggests it’s not so simple.
Researchers have found that meditation can improve our physical and mental health. It can relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and enhance our mood. Meditation and mindfulness helps rewire our neural circuits by pruning away the least used connections, and strengthening the ones we exercise most.
How does mindfulness affect your brain?
Research with MRI scans as people meditate, has shown that our brain transforms as we practice mindfulness. Activity in the prefrontal cortex (responsible for logical thinking and emotional regulation) get higher, and the grey matter in it becomes thicker after meditation.
Other studies have confirmed that meditation can increase the volume and density of the hippocampus: the seahorse- shaped area in the centre of our brain that is essential for memory. Although some areas of our brain shrink as we age, meditation counteracts this decaying process.
Experiments with Buddhist monks, the people who meditate most during their lives, have shown that they possess stronger connections between scattered regions of their brains, allowing for more synchronized communication. Long-time meditators also seem to develop an especially wrinkly cortex, or the brain’s outer layer. We depend on our cortex for many of our most elaborate mental abilities like abstract thought and introspection.
How to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine
Cultivating a mindfulness practice can come in many forms, and not just by meditating. Depending on your availability and routines, there are several things you can practice:
- Meditating. Meditating daily for at least 15 minutes for several weeks can help sharpen your mind, improving your memory and attention.
- Mindful eating. Paying attention to your meal times and avoiding any distractions during this important moment of the day is essential and leads to better digestion, less excessive consumption and better habits.
- Practice gratitude. At the beginning or end of your day, take a few minutes to examine what you did through your journey, the positives and negatives of it, what you want to keep and what you want to let go. This kind of practice makes you more aware of your own patterns and leads to a more positive mindset.
- Enhance your senses. Try to pay attention to your five senses, don’t ignore the stimuli around you: sounds, scents, textures, visuals, taste. Being mindful of each and every moment can help you retain important information and navigate your surroundings wisely.
- Watch your thoughts. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, pay attention to the quality of your thoughts, examine what they are about. Where does your mind wander when it’s idle? Memories? Thinking of the future? Solving problems?
Developing any of these practices can lead you to a more mindful, balanced life. Mixing it with your daily training using the COGNITION System by ORGANO you’ll feel much better and will experiment with a new level of lucidity you never thought was possible. Do you meditate? If so, how does it make you feel? Share your comments and thoughts with us on social media!
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