Do you wake up with a long to-do list in your mind? Does your mind seem to churn even in your sleep? When you find yourself in a constant race, the brain gets befuddled. It reaches a state when it can’t function as quickly as it used to, committing more errors and wandering from one concern to another. There’s one word for what you don’t have – focus. In the technology available today, focus has begun to turn into a scarce commodity and attaining it is important.
Yogis and Scientists Alike Find Meditation Beneficial
Yoga teachers and adherents claim that meditation is a key to achieve a peaceful state where mental focus, among other things, is attained. Meditation, however, requires time, and this makes it a very demanding method especially in the West. We can’t continue to ignore the benefits of meditation, though. Science has recently caught up and confirms in various studies that, indeed, meditation is an answer to mind-wandering.
Meditation Alters the Structure of the Brain
A scientific study conducted by the School of Medicine in UCLA, it compared the brains of meditators and non-meditators through MRI machines. The study concluded that the brains of the meditating subjects had greater gray matter on the areas of the brain that are associated with attention, mental flexibility, and emotional stability. This was a very important finding that indicates the significant distinction in the brain structure of the two groups.
What Explains this Difference in Structure
The present structure of your brain reflects what you have done to exercise it in the past. A six-pack abs doesn’t just happen overnight. It is much the same analogy for the brain. Students who have undergone rigorous mental activities are expected to have well-developed hippocampus. Musicians have more gray matter in the areas devoted for creating music. It is the same with meditation. Constant practice trains the mind and strengthens the interconnection of neurons for that particular skill.
Meditation Improves Focus in Two Ways
In case you didn’t notice, there are two kinds of lack of focus that is prevalent today. The first kind is when you lack focus in what you do because of distractions. Meditation helps you improve the ability to ignore other stimuli and focus on work at hand. The second kind is when you are so absent from the here-and-now that you do not notice a friend talking to you or a car approaching. Researchers call this the attentional blink. Meditation helps attain that awareness of your environment and being able to live for the moment.
Scientific studies are underway to delve deeper into the importance of meditation in training the brain to focus and developing those regions responsible for controlling attention. While this looks like a tedious prospect for an individual initially, constant meditation progresses to effortless and sustainable focus. In today’s world wherein the word “multi-tasking” is becoming much more of a necessity, the brain is required to work at different tasks simultaneously. This needs focus and it is attainable through meditation. The objective is to perceive more and to miss less.
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