- It’s a proven fact that meditation makes you more intelligent. But what is the best meditation for brain training? Find out below.
Meditation is the key to brain training
Keep asking yourself why you are so emotional? The key to brain training is novelty, taking in new information. Information, of course, enters the brain by way of the senses. The senses, then, can be thought as the roots of a healthy brain. The more attention we pay to our senses, to our sight, hearing, touch, scent and taste, the more information enters our brains and the more new information we take in, helping our brain to build new neurological pathways and ultimately to grow stronger.
Stress, Anexiety and Depression stop us being mindful
When we are wracked with depression, anxiety and stress we shut off from the outside world. This prevents new information from entering our mind. When we feel depressed or anxious or stressed we don’t allow that essential nutrient, information, into our brain. It is imperative that we be able to turn out thoughts off so that we can focus on the external environment. Thankfully, there is one very powerful way in which to achieve this: meditation.
Meditation silences thoughts and trains the brain
Meditation is the act of silencing the mind in order to focus 100% on external stimuli. Science has proven that practicing meditation for a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes every day has a profound affect on your brain, on how you approach life, on your interaction with other people and on many other areas of your life. Meditation enhances compassion, enables you to see things clearly and to achieve a high degree of insight, creates centredness and calmness and trains your brain.
Meditation improves brain function
Prior to meditating, the average person has strong neurological connections between then medial frontal cortex (me centre), insula and the amygdale (“fear center”). These people are far more likely to interpret bodily sensations as meaning that there is something wrong with them. Feelings of anxiety and fear and sensations in the body makes these people believe that there is something wrong with them. Over activation of the Me Centre also leads people to repeat the same thoughts and feelings in life, entering negative loops.
Meditation rewires the brain
When we meditate regularly for a minimum of fifteen minutes a day the connection between the “Me” part of the brain and the “Fear” part of the brain breaks down. This leads us to realise that a physical sensation or a feeling of fear does not mean that something is wrong. Because of this, anxiety decrease significantly when we meditate and we are able to look at things logically and with clarity. You are able to say, essentially, that a feeling of fear is what it is: a feeling of fear. It doesn’t mean that something bad is going to happen or that there is something wrong with you, it’s just a feeling and that is all.
Start with a breathing meditation
Breathing meditations are always the best place for new meditation practitioners to begin. Breathing meditations are the easiest meditation techniques to start using and are also very powerful. Try this simple meditation technique for ten minutes and notice how different you feel afterwards compared to how you feel right now.
1) Sit comfortably and with good posture.
2) Close your eyes.
3) Focus your mind on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving through your nose and mouth. Simply observe the sensations without trying to control them.
4) Continue for ten minutes. If at any time you experience a thought, say to yourself, “That’s just a thought” and then continue focussing on your breathing.
Try this for ten minutes now and you will feel significantly more relaxed and more conscious when you finish the meditation.
One of the best brain training meditations is mindfulness.
We stated earlier that the most important part of a healthy brain is taking in new and novel information and that the primary source of new and novel information is via the senses.
This meditation technique is designed to put you in touch with your senses, to make you more aware of the information coming to you through your sense.
1) Find somewhere quiet and peaceful where you can sit, lie down or stand for ten minutes without being disturbed.
2) Close your eyes and focus your mind on the environment. Listen, smell, feel and taste the environment. Don’t judge the information coming to you from your senses, just observe it.
3) After five minutes of meditating with your eyes closed, open your eyes and pay attention to your sense of sight. Look at the environment and aim to truly see it, without judgment, without though, just with pure awareness.
Practice this meditation once a day and you will find that you are much more aware of your environment and of your senses. This helps to bring new information into your brain, which, as we know, will help you to train your brain and to build those healthy neurological pathways.
Body Scan Meditation
Another great brain training meditation is the body scan.
A body scan meditation is a meditation in which you focus on the sensations of your body. This will enhance your mind / body connection and put your brain more in touch with the information entering through your body. It will also make you less concerned of any pain or strain as you will come to see these sensations with clarity and pure awareness.
1) Lie down either on a mat or on your bed.
2) Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take twenty deep breaths to relax.
3) Now focus on the sensations in your head. Don’t judge the sensations, don’t think about them, just observe them. Then carry on down through your body, focussing on the sensations in your neck, shoulders and so on all the way down to your toes.
4) Once you’ve made it to your toes, gradually return your focus back up to your head.
5) Finally, spend five minutes meditating on the sensations around your entire body. Again, don’t think about the sensations, don’t judge them, simply observe them.
Try adding this brain training meditation to your practice. In my experience it’s a seriously helpful tool.
Have you tried these brain training meditations before? Let us know how you got on with them.
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