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Try Meditation, Quit, Repeat


This is my experience as well as a few people I have talked with.

If it is so hard to stick with meditation, why do we keep trying?  Something about it must be good for you.  And if it is good for you, why is it hard to stick with?  It only takes 5 to 20 minutes a day, you do it sitting down and you don’t sweat.

As you age, your prefrontal cortex shrinks.  Meditation keeps your prefrontal cortex from shrinking.  The prefrontal cortex is responsible for planning, organizing, thinking, inhibition (making decisions about what is good for you or not good for you).

There are a few different kinds of meditation, but two of the most popular are:

·         Focused attention meditation (breath, mantra, object), notice if your attention wanders and bring it back. 

·         Body focused meditation – focusing on how a part of your body feels.

 

Wouldn’t planning, organizing and thinking “exercise” the prefrontal cortex of your brain?  Unlike our muscles, our brains work differently.  They need stimulation and downtime in different brainwaves for repair.  While you meditate you slow the alpha waves in your brain which let your brain refresh and rebuild. 

Other than having a big prefrontal cortex, what are some of the other potential benefits of meditation?

·         Decrease stress and anxiety

·         Improve attention

·         Improve relationships

·         Improves sleep quality

·         Lowers blood pressure

 

How to meditate?

·         Sit in a comfortable place with a posture that is not too relaxed nor rigid

·         Focus on your breathing, a mantra, object or a part of your body

·         If/when your mind wanders, notice that and bring it back to your focus

Start slowly – even one minute.  Gradually increase to five minutes or more.  Use a timer or mediation app so you don’t need to keep checking the time.

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