BRAIN CONTROL: MEDITATION VS BRAIN GAMES

According to a recent Yale study Meditation exercises your brain in ways that produce a far more long lasting result than the ubiquitous Brain Games that seem to be all the rage. "A calm mind improves concentration, reduces stress and leads to far less brain disease than keeping it in overdrive," said Dr. Judson Brewer, medical director of the Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic. He also said his study suggests, "there may be a neurological basis for the benefits that many meditators report: increased awareness, improved concentration, and a better ability to deal with the cognitive and emotional stresses of modern life."

MRI Images allow science to observe the tiny changes in connections that take place in the brains of experienced Meditators. And they have concluded that while these changes are small they cause visible differences in the structure of their brains that improve their ability to get their brain to do what they've asked it to do. Eileen Luders, a re-searcher in the Department of Neurology at the UCLA School of Medicine, says, "Scientists used to believe that the brain reaches its peak in adulthood and doesn't change—until it starts to decrease in late adulthood. Today we know that everything we do, and every experience we have, actually changes the brain."

The Yale study concluded people are far happier when they are engaged in the task at hand instead of letting their mind wander which produces a preoccupation with your own thoughts and can lead to mental disorders. But the ability to live in the moment requires cognitive control and according to the study this self monitoring skill is enhanced through regular Meditation. In our opinion this adds new meaning to the concept of "Knowing without Thinking" often thought of as the primary benefit Meditation provides.

THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION: (Based on the Study)

  • Improved Concentration
  • Reduced Cortisol Production Means Less Stress, Increased Sense of Well Being
  • Improves Left and Right Side Synchronization
  • Increases Melatonin Production Leads to Better Rest and Improved Recuperation

Meditation is a learned skill. Many of the benefits take place at the beginning of the learning process and grow steadily with experience. Rather than providing specific advice we recommend taking a class, but there are many great books and articles to choose from as well. Remember...the goal is increased control not increased speed. Tom LeDuc