Is there more to know? - Deepstash
Is there more to know?

Is there more to know?

There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done to understand the type and amount of practice required to get an effect — and it likely will be different for each person. And with so many ways to do so — from workshops to smart phone apps — Davidson says the best kind of meditation is simply the one that you are most likely to stick with.

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Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness induce a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Various studies demonstrate the practice can help relieve stress — as well as manage anxiety, reduce inflammation, and improve memory and attention, to boot. Such striking results have many doctors, across specialties, prescribing meditation just as they would an anti-depressant or blood pressure medication . But it remains unclear just how meditation confers so many health benefits.

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Bin he

“It seems the longer you do meditation, the better your brain will be at self-regulation,” said He. “You don’t have to consume as much energy at rest and you can more easily get yourself into a more relaxed state.”

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Bin He Findings

He and his colleagues found that long-term, active meditative practice decreases activity in the default network. This is the brain network associated with the brain at rest — just letting your mind wander with no particular goal in mind — and includes brain areas like the medial prefrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex. What’s more, the longer a monk had been practicing, the bigger the reduction in activity the researchers observed.

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Bin he

“We went to Tibet and measured activity in the brains of monks who had, on average, 15 years of meditation experience — between five and 35 years,” he said. “We then compared those results to native Tibetans who had never meditated before.”

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Tibetan Monks

Tibetan monks meditate for hours upon hours each week. Their devotion to their religious traditions makes them experts in the practice of meditation.

Turns out those experts have a lot to teach us about how sustained mindfulness affects the brain.

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Bin He Investigates

Bin He, a neuroengineer at Carnegie Mellon University, decided to look at the brains of Tibetan monks. In a previous study. He and colleagues saw that individuals with meditation experience were better able to control a computer cursor with their mind than those without it.

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Richard davidson

“Think of it as a form of personal mental hygiene — almost like tooth brushing,” he said. “Humans didn’t evolve brushing their teeth twice a day. It’s a learned skill. Your brain is just as precious as your teeth. So, it’s important to take the time to learn a practice and stick to it.”

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Altering the brain

In 2005, studies began to point out that meditation can change the structure of your brain by thickening the cortex. The cortex controls your attention and emotions.

You can reap the benefits if you practice meditation for half an hour a day over eight weeks.

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Meditation

It is a practice to control the power of thought and to cultivate more peace, clarity and happiness.

Meditation enables us to move from higher frequency brain waves to lower frequency waves, which activates different centers in the brain.

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Mindfulness

... is a collection of practices aimed at helping us to cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment.

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