Scientific research shows that meditation has a significant impact on the brain. For instance, balancing neurotransmitters like catecholamines and acetylcholine, and strengthening parts of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex and more. Because of these physiological benefits, meditation can increase memory power.
That said, some forms of meditation are better for memory than others, so let’s take a look.
Which Meditation Increases Memory Power?
- Sit comfortably with good posture. Make sure your spine is straight but relaxed. Roll your shoulders back then let them relax. In turn, this will open your heart space.
- Focus on your breath as it moves through your body. Aim for non-judgmental awareness of the breath. And do not try to control the breath, simply observe it.
- When thoughts or feelings enter your mind, simply let them come and go as they will, without judging them.
- Continue for 108 breaths.
Mindfulness improves brain structure and strengthens regions of the brain involved with remembering. Plus, it balances cortisol, which is vital because cortisol inhibits memory.
In the article “Eight weeks to a better brain”, the Harvard Gazettes states that mindfulness is one of the best types of meditation for memory power.
2: Just relax
Many of the common causes of bad memory are stress, anxiety, and depression. When you’re feeling down and you’re full of negative thoughts, it can be hard to remember. And at times like these, the best thing you can do is relax.
Thankfully, there are lots of meditations that help with relaxation:
Try this simple meditation for seniors
Take a look at these meditations for relaxation.
When you’re relaxed, you will have a more positive mood and less stress. In turn, this will help your brain to function properly. Ultimately, relaxation improves memory power.
Numerous studies from neuroscientists show a link between meditation and memory. Specifically, there have been studies into Tibetan monks that show that monks have better memories than the average person. However, research also shows that you don’t need to meditate for long to benefit from it.
Gaëlle Desbordes split test participants into three groups. One group was taught mindful attention. This is a technique that involves focusing on the breath and on emotions in the present moment. Another group was taught Loving Kindness. And a third group was taught general health education instead of meditation.
Desbordes then conducted brain scans of the participants. The scans showed that meditation strengthened the right amygdala. This is a part of the brain used in processing memory. The groups who had meditated had increased activity in the right amygdala. The control group did not.
It strengthens the brain
A second study by Boston University showed that daily meditation strengthens the cerebral cortex. This is a part of the brain involved with learning, concentration and memory.
It increases blood flow to the brain. And this strengthens the cerebral cortex to improve memory. Plus, further research shows that just twenty minutes of daily practice is enough to see these benefits. However, researchers state that guided meditation is less effective than traditional meditation.
A paper in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Journal states, “Meditation training can enhance various cognitive processes, such as emotional regulation, executive control and attention, particularly sustained attention.”
You might have noticed that when you’re having a stressful day it is harder to remember things. There’s a reason for that. It’s because of the effect of the stress hormone cortisol.
Stress increases the flow of cortisol into the hippocampus. This is a part of the brain involved with memory. Cortisol impedes the hippocampus and makes it harder to remember things. Indeed, too much cortisol in the long term will have a serious effect on cognitive performance. Plus, it will cause bad memory.
So, if you’ve ever thought, “Why can’t I ever remember anything?” it could be because of cortisol.
Thankfully, meditation can help. 2013 research at UC Davis shows that it reduces cortisol secretion after just a few weeks. In fact, a doctor at Rutgers University stated that it could even reduce cortisol levels by up to fifty per cent.
Helps with brain fog
Brain fog is closely related to both memory loss and lack of concentration. Plus, it can cause mental fatigue.
The main causes of brain fog are stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, poor diet, and certain medical conditions.
While bad memory can be a sign of illness, it is often caused by stress, anxiety, and depression. When we meditate, we unwind and balance our emotions. In turn, this helps the brain to operate properly. And the result is increased memory power.
However, it is important to learn to meditate properly. Studies show that a proper meditation training program is the best way to benefit from the practice.
Giving Is Caring
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison