12 Scientific Ways Meditation Rewires Your Brain for Happiness (and the Easiest Technique to Get Started)

In Mind & Body
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Are you lost? Do you feel a sense of low self-esteem, anger or anxiety? Is your mind getting slowed down?

Exhaustion, stress, life’s challenges and chaos impacts our creativity, peace of mind and overall success. We are left feeling disconnected from everything.

Research has found that a happy and content person is more productive and leads a good quality life. If you fight the negative thoughts and feelings, you can win over anything in life. Transformation of your surrounding will only take place when you start changing from within.

And mindfulness meditation is one of the ways to achieve inner peace, drive, and zeal back in your life. Mindfulness is all about viewing the world with your mind. In layman’s words, mindfulness means being aware.

The scientific benefits of meditation

A recent study found that changes in the brain occur after just 8 weeks of meditation. Each participant was asked to practice mindfulness meditation for 40 minutes a day. However, the senior researcher of the study says there isn’t good data on much you need to practice. Anecdotal evidence suggests 10 minutes could be good enough, while her studies found 40 minutes a day.

He says:

“Mindfulness is just like exercise. It’s a form of mental exercise, really. And just as exercise increases health, helps us handle stress better and promotes longevity, meditation purports to confer some of those same benefits.”

So without further ado, here is exactly the type of benefits you can expect if you continue with your meditation journey:

  • Improves attention and focus
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves decision making and processing skills
  • Enhances empathy and compassion
  • Aids in developing positive relationships in life
  • Conquers impulsivity, anxiety, and nervousness
  • Boosts positive emotions
  • Increases memory power
  • Enhances mental clarity
  • Lowers social isolation
  • Lowers emotions of loneliness
  • Strengthens gray matter in your brain

The easiest way to begin your meditation practice

This is my favorite meditation technique. It’s also more simple than others.

All it involves is focusing on the object in front of you, allowing the mind to stay in the present moment.

The external object of attention acts as a point of reference to which the mind can easily be tethered. Every time it strays, you simply need to bring it back to the object.

It is important to realize that your mind will stray, but don’t beat yourself up about it – just gently move your attention back to the object.

The physical item you would like to focus on is up to you and anything from a candle flame to a rock could be used.

Notice all of the details of your object, even what it smells like or sounds like. Allow yourself to become one with your object.

Begin slowly at 2-5 min and gradually increase. I do this for about 20-30 min a day (I started at 1 minute!). My mind still strays, but not as much as it used to. According to Buddhist texts, ‘master level’ is reached when one can focus on an object for 4 hours without losing focus!

The focused meditation technique is very calming and centring. It anchors us in the present moment, freeing us from judgements about the past or worrying about the future.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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This idea came from Tracy on the Ideapod platform – a social network for sharing ideas. You can view the idea and respond to Tracy here.