Most of us believed that meditation is good for the brain. However, not all of us are neuroscientists where we can confirm it. We have so many questions on how it actually works yet we didn’t have the answer. Hence, we’re going to get the answer from one of the world’s top neuroscientists, Richie Davidson. According to Richie Davidson and his group of colleagues, we must know the three key things about the brain:
1. You can train your brain to change
2. The change is measurable
3. New ways of thinking can change the brain for the better
He also said that by doing meditation for 30 minutes, we can notice measurable changes that are trackable by a brain scanner. Meaning that doing it daily can significantly adapt your brain and improve its functionality.
Here are the 4 ways on how meditation actually changes the brain.
Table of Contents
Increased grey matter
Doing meditation will increase the grey matter in the anterior cingulate cortex, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus. Located behind the brain’s frontal lobe, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is known for the ability to monitor things like cognitive flexibility and attention conflicts. The prefrontal cortex has functions based on problem-solving, regulating emotions and planning. The hippocampus, which is part of the limbic system assist the learning and memory side of things and also sensitive to stress-related disorders.
Meditation can decrease the amygdala size which means it will decrease the cell volumes relating to fear and anxious emotions. Hence, creating a more peaceful mind.
Changes in functionalities
In addition to the diminution of amygdala size, certain networks will also start weakening after a practice of meditation. The brain will strengthen and focus more on higher brain functional networks instead of focusing on reactive networks.
Reduce activity in the brain’s center
After a meditation session, there is a reduction in the activity level of our Default Mode Network (DMN), which is often when our minds go wander when we get distracted. Repeated levels of mindfulness will make the brain to become more efficient with its regulators. We will be less reactive but become more aware and more accepting of certain thoughts.