Meditation is often regarded as the best calming and relaxing technique that exists today. The benefits of meditation are far-reaching. Researchers have even identified the remarkably positive effects that meditation has on the brain. However, one question still lingers in many people’s heads: does meditation improve memory?
According to numerous studies performed by neuroscientists, there is a clear link between meditation and memory. Good news is, you don’t need to be a monk to improve your brain function using meditation. A significant population that practices mindful meditation around the world exhibits improved concentration and enhanced memory.
Meditation for memory
One study conducted by some Boston researchers found that frequent meditation thickened the cerebral cortex within the brain. This thickening occurs when constant meditation increases blood flow to the cerebral cortex, leading to an increased network of blood vessels in this region. The cortex deals with mental functions such as learning, concentration and memory.
Ever since scientists unearthed that meditation altered pathways in the brain and is directly responsible for improving memory and concentration, it’s now possible for perform meditation to improve memory. There are numerous meditation techniques you can perform. Simply try out several techniques and choose one that suits you. The length of your meditation is an important factor to consider. One study that was published by a reputable cognition journal indicated that meditating even for 20 minutes could boost your memory and concentration performances.
Meditation benefits for improved memory and cognition
There are simple meditation techniques you can employ to achieve improved memory and cognition. Here are some of them:
- Mindfulness meditation
It’s one of the easiest meditation for memory yet the most overlooked. Mindfulness is a non-judgmental technique that allows individuals to gain a deeper awareness of their feelings, sensations and emotions. Mindfulness helps you to focus on one particular issue at a time, instilling a deep sense of appreciation for the present moment. Research shows that mindfulness increased the density of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s responsible for memory and learning. It also improved self-awareness, introspection and compassion among meditators who were subjected to an 8-week meditation regimen.
Simply put, practicing meditation (even for half an hour each day) changes our brain structure. Those areas that are responsible for helping us remember things more vividly, focus better and improve self-awareness are boosted. On the other hand, areas that increase our stress and anxiety levels are reduced.
- Performing sitting meditation
Meditation teachers agree that all meditation types benefit our brains immensely. When we sit down to meditate, we close our eyes gently and concentrate on our breathing. A lot happens during this time – we become aware of deep-seated emotions, gain a refreshing appreciation for the present moment and even learn how to cope with grief and loss. Meditation teacher Khenpo Tsering also adds that working on our minds helps us to maintain a positive perspective towards life, helping us to bring out our joy, love and humanity. Clearly, there’s so much more to gain from the powerful practice of meditation apart from improving our memory and brain cognition.
Guided meditation to increase memory
Are you still finding it difficult to perform meditation? A good guided meditation app can help. You can listen to an instructor’s voice guiding you through the various stages of meditation. The Mindworks Meditation App comes highly recommended since it contains a myriad of meditation resources that will benefit you immensely. You’ll find daily cup contemplations that you can listen to. There’s also daily guided meditations as well as solo meditations for advanced meditators. You can download it on your smartphone.
Meditation is the perfect way to quiet your mind and relax the body. You can use meditation to increase memory and to manage stress, so try it!