Meditation: The Science Behind the Recommendation

Uncategorized Aug 19, 2020
Meditation to the brain is like a shower to the body – a way to cleanse and renew

Meditation.

When we hear the word, it’s hard not to conjure up certain images.  These vary from robe-clad monks and their Gregorian chants to hippies sitting in the lotus position repeating “Ohm” over and over again.

The truth is that meditation includes both those things but so much more!

I hope I don't have to tell you if you shower regularly you'll be a more effective leader.  I DO think more busy leaders need to shower their mind more regularly to be a better human.

In case you’re not involved with a regular practice yet, let me appeal to that logical brain of yours.

Here are 9 scientific reasons (with links to the actual studies) why everyone needs to start meditating today:

Meditation and Your Physical Brain

Most leaders know that to be effective, the brain must be in peak condition. Not many leaders realize, though, that meditation can change your brain for the better.

Regular practice increases the volume of your brain in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions and self control. Not to mention that you’ll actually increase your grey matter, too. Throw in a little increase in cortical thickness in areas related to paying attention, and we have a perfect trifecta!

I’m not even talking about reaping the benefits of these physical changes, I’m talking about actually changing your brain. When we hear so much about how aging affects the brain, it’s nice to know that there is something real and tangible we can do to counter those effects.

Meditation and Your Productivity

There’s an inherent contradiction with the idea that meditation (ostensibly doing nothing) can actually increase your productivity.

But the studies say this is true.

When you’re NOT meditating, your focus and attention to the task at hand is increased and it also increases your memory.

And when we are juggling so many demands and we want to rock in all of them, creativity becomes critically important.

Why do I mention that?  You guessed it!  Meditating improves your ability to be creative and think outside the box!

Meditation and Your Happiness

No list of studies related to meditation would be complete without touching on our happiness.  We all want that overarching sense of well-being that permeates all areas of our life, but meditation can play a profound role in helping us attain that.

So much is heard about being positive.  Try to see the positive in every situation.  Every cloud has a silver lining. Blah blah blah.  It’s hard to see the silver lining when you’re sucked into the chaotic vortex on a daily basis!

But meditation can help us with that. One kind of practice, called loving-kindness meditation can induce those positive emotions.

Suffering from anxiety (worry about the future) or depression (worry about the past)? Clinical studies prove that meditation can reduce both of these.

And last but not least, meditation can reduce your stress level. I am totally on-board with this one! It’s hard to be happy when you are under constant stress, so anything that can take that feeling away – I’m all for it.

 

There are many other reasons to start incorporating daily meditation into your life, but I wanted to hit the big ones when it comes to juggling a career, relationships, parenthood and self-care.

This is definitely in the self-care realm. 

And, just for giggles, here is a link to an article that explains 23 different types of meditation.  I don’t want you to feel compelled to don robes and clang gongs (although you are perfectly free to do so if you want…).

 

Leaving you with this from the lighter side:  Did you hear about the guy who had his tooth pulled without Novocaine?  He wanted to transcend dental medication.  (sorry, I couldn’t help myself…)

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