As adults we have a wide array of tasks to get done each day, but the stressors of life and an array of distractions can sometimes get in the way of our responsibilities.Meditation can be used as part of a self-care routine to help us ease our stresses and focus on the immediate tasks at hand.Â
The Science Behind Meditation Italian neuroscientist Guiseppe Pagnoni conducted aÂ studyÂ on how meditation changes brain patterns. He compared the brain scans of 12 Zen meditators who had been regularly meditating for at least 3 years to a control group of 12 adults in the same age group with a similar education to the study group.Â
MRI imaging was run while study participants were instructed â€œnot to engage in any mental actâ€ and also while participants were given a rapid visual information processing test, where one would have to spot the right number sequences as numbers would quickly flash on a screen.
Theses scans showed the meditators hadÂ more stabilityÂ in their posteromedial cortex (vPMC), the region of the brain linked to â€œspontaneous thoughts and mind-wandering.â€Lower activityÂ in the vPMC may meanÂ a stronger ability to be more attentive and less distracted.
This study shows there may be positive implications for meditation for people experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD, where impulsive or unwanted thoughts can be more pervasive. Meditation is also a safe, inexpensive, and easily accessible tool for anyone who wishes to improve their mental function.Â
From the finding from this study, if you are distracted, stressed, or simply could benefit from increased focus, adding meditation to your daily routine is benefital.Â
Simple Meditation Techniques
All you need is some time to find your breath and listen to your body. A big advantage of meditation is that it can be done anywhere and anytime. As any other practice, regular meditation is more likely to lead to better results, and it can be helpful to have a quiet space and a set time to practice meditating each day.
The Free Mindfulness ProjectÂ is a free resource available for those who want some more direction and information about how to meditation works and how it could benefits your life.Â