Does Meditation Make You Smarter? Indubitably It Does, Says Science :P
As a meditation teacher I’m often asked “Does meditation make you smarter?” And the answer is a definitive yes.
It’s proven that there are over 100 scientifically proven benefits of meditation, the majority of which are psychological benefits.
On of the best benefits is that meditation makes you more intelligent.
In fact not only does meditation make you smarter, it literally increases the size of your brain by increasing grey matter and increasing the thickness of the brain’s cerebral cortex.
There are six important ways in which meditation makes you more intelligent. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Yes, Meditation Does Make You Smarter, In These 6 Ways
1 Meditation Makes You Smarter Because It Balances Your Left & Right Brain
Are you good at some things and terrible at others?
For instance, you’re very creative but have zero logic? If so it is probably because part of your brain is stronger than the rest.
Everyone naturally uses one half of their brain more than the other half (we have a dominant side of the brain). This causes an imbalance in the brain.
It has been scientifically proven that meditation balances the sides of the brain. This helps the brain to process information faster because it increases the rate of neural communication.
The result is better problem solving skills, heightened creativity, improved focus and concentration, and better decision making skills.
2 —Meditation Makes You Smarter Because It Increases Brain Size
Ever wished you had a bigger brain? Well now you can.
Scientists at the Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [1 ]discovered that meditation makes your brain bigger (literally). Specifically, meditation makes your cerebral cortex thicker and increases grey matter mass.
Researchers compares brain scans between 20 meditators and 15 non-meditators. “Our data suggest that meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being,” said study lead Sara Lazar.The medtiators specifically practiced insight meditation.
The results show that meditation literally makes your brain bigger.
Meditation is not the only thing that increases brain size. Exercise does too. In fact, if you’re interested in improve your brain, take a look at this list of 40 daily brain training activities. Meditation is, after all, just one way to improve intelligence.
If you’ve ever told yourself that you’re stuck with the brain you were born with, think again.
Because of neuroplasticity, it is entirely possible to strengthen your brain and make yourself more intelligent.
3 — Meditation Makes You Smarter Because It improves your brain wave patterns
Ever wanted to improve your IQ level? Then there’s good news. Meditation can change your brain wave frequencies, which will boost your IQ.
Some brain wave frequencies are healthier than others, for instance alpha, theta and delta. These brainwaves have been shown to correlate to improved brain functioning, heightened ability to learn, and increased creativity.
Science shows that meditation is one of the best ways of controlling brainwaves.
The Norwegian University of Science And Technology studied the effect of meditation on brain waves . The researchers asked a group of participants to practice a type of open meditation called Acem. While the group were meditating, the researchers took EEG scans of the participant’s brains. The results showed an increase in brainwaves that are conducive to a relaxed, wakeful state.
4. Meditation Makes You Smarter Because It Improves Intuition And insight
Two of the most underutilized parts of the brain are insight and intuition. Meditation can help you access these untapped resources.
Insight and intuition are inner intelligence that stem from your unconscious mind. At times, you will notice your intuition and insight guiding you. For instance, if you have ever felt that you can feel what other people feel, you have probably felt your intuition, which was created by your unconscious mind.
Inner intelligence is one of the most important types of intelligence. It gives you access to your unconscious, which is much more powerful than your conscious.
When you meditate you find your intuition and, and it is one of the most powerful tools you have.
5 — Meditation Makes You Smarter Because It Improves Memory
Ever forgotten someone’s name? Then you might like to know that meditation can improve your memory.
Of course, memory is one of the most important parts of your brain. People who easily forget things generally struggle to succeed in life.
Whether you’re a university student trying to study for your exams. Or you’re travelling abroad and want to learn a new language. Meditation will make it easier for you to remember.
Scientific studies have shown that meditation strengthens your hippocampus and frontal lobe, which are two of the most important parts of the brain for memory.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston  showed that meditation increases the thickness of the brain’s outer cortex, which is responsible for mental functions including learning, concentration, and memory.
Researchers looked at longitudinal studies on the effects of people in Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction therapy. The research shows that MBSR increases grey matter concentration in the left hippoccampus, cingulate cortex, the temporo-parietal junction, and the cerebellum. This suggests that MBSR improves learning, memory emotional regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.
In another study published in the journal Cosnciousness and Cognition it was revealed that just 20 minutes of meditation improves results on memory tests.
Because of the affect it has on these parts of the brain, meditation improves memory, both short term and long term.
#6 — Meditation Makes You Smarter Because It Improves Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
Ever felt like you’re out of control of your emotions? Then why not use meditation to regain control.
Many people allow their emotions to control them. They feel something so they act on it (they are reactive). They don’t rationalise their emotions and they don’t know how to manage their feelings. They also might not understand other people’s emotions either.
Meditation boosts your emotional intelligence (EQ), which is your ability to be aware of, to manage, and to use your emotions in a healthy and practical fashion.
In the paper Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation on Emotional Intelligence, General Self-Efficacy, and Perceived Stress, Dr. Peerayuth Charoensukmongkol states that meditation improves emotional intelligence in 3 key ways:1. Meditation increases our understand of emotions2. Meditation increases our ability to recognise emotions3. Meditation increases emotional control4. Mindfulness increases our ability to use our emotions in effective ways.
The science suggests that one of the best meditations for intelligence is TM.
I created this infographic for you to share / print / use. Enjoy.
Meditation makes you more intelligence in these 6 ways. And these are only 6 of the more than 100 proven benefits of meditation.
If you’ve been meditating for a while, has meditation made you more intelligent? Or, if your new to meditation, what are you most looking forward to getting out of it? Leave a comment and remember to subscribe to our newsletter.
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation