Did you know that you can actually grow your brain with meditation? It’s true, and there’s good science behind it. By the time you get to the bottom of this article, we hope to convince you that a meditative practice can change your life just as much as it can change your brain!
How They Grew Their Brain
During a study on the effects of meditation, 16 individuals participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction course. Neuroscientists took MRI brain scans before and after the study and the results were shocking.
The MRI scans revealed that the mindful meditators increased gray matter concentrations within the left hippocampus, posterior cingulate cortex, temporo-parietal junction, and the cerebellum. To put this in relatable terms, meditation helped grow parts of the brain responsible for learning, memory, emotion, sense of self, and perspective talking.
If that isn’t reason enough to start meditating today, we don’t know what is.
How to Meditate for Beginners
In the study referenced above, participants integrated mindfulness into their everyday activities, like washing dishes and eating. They also used traditional mindfulness exercises like seated meditation and yoga.
To meditate, we recommend starting with body scans. Instead of trying to be thoughtless, which can prove to be extremely difficult for beginners, a meditative body scan can give you something to focus on. Here’s a guide on starting a body scan practice.
Another form of meditation that is growing in popularity is yoga. Yoga has proven benefits specifically for neurological disorders, so if you’re looking for some movement during your meditation, this is definitely for you. The Yoga Journal is a great resources for starting an at-home yoga practice. But please consult with your therapist first as he/she can help you choose your safest options.
Implications for Stroke Survivors
Study after study has proven that meditation and mindfulness exercises can help with neurological recovery. If you’re looking for a boost in your stroke recovery, meditation will calm your nerves, boost your mood, and grow your brain! Really, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Have you tried meditation for stroke recovery? Please share your thoughts and experience with us in the comments section below!