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Mindfulness Meditation Can Change Your Brain and Your Life3 min read

Make time for mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness and meditation aren’t just wellness buzzwords — even Oprah participates daily in this mind-calming practice. Mindfulness meditation simply involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future. Mindfulness meditation helps to foster a non-judgmental awareness of yourself, your feelings, and your surroundings. It allows you to create some space between yourself and your reactions, deconstructing your conditioned responses. It is a real (and scientifically-backed) way to gain perspective and manage emotions in your everyday life. It’s a great way to set the tone for your day, and you can do it too!

Think you do not have time for mindfulness meditation? Of course you do! We often start our mornings with dread after going through the mental list of what we need to do for the day, week, or month. Instead of spending that time itemizing tasks, start your morning with 3 minutes of mindfulness meditation. Just 3 minutes of this gentle discipline can change your brain and your life.

Keep scrolling for reasons why you should incorporate mindfulness meditation into your lifeMindfulness meditation can happen anywhere, anytime

Reduces brain chatter

Experiencing background chatter in your mind that does not seem to stop? Feeling distracted and unable to focus? Meditation can help with that! By participating in this gentle practice, it can help calm overactive and anxious thoughts. You can quiet the endless brain chatter by silencing the mind through meditation.

Strengthens your mind

Meditation is like a workout for your brain that can make your mind stronger and faster. Scientific research has shown that long-term meditation is linked to increased grey matter in the brain. Why is grey matter important? It is responsible for memory, sight, hearing, executive functions, impulse control, and speech. As we age, grey matter decreases, but meditation can help increase it.

Improves stress management

Meditation is a great way to manage stress and can help you focus in high stress environments. An American Psychological Association survey found that one-third of employees experience chronic stress related to work. Studies suggest that mindfulness meditation can aid concentration, especially in high stress, multitasking situations. If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, take a few moments for your practice.

Influences emotional processing

Emotional processing is your ability to cope with emotions from an distressing event over time. For some people, those feelings are temporary, however others relive the experiences and go through the negative emotions repeatedly. The part of the brain responsible for emotional processing is the amygdala. According to research, meditation enhances the amygdala’s emotional processing capabilities. It has been reported that meditation can also affect emotional processing in everyday life, not just during meditation.

Helps us know our blind spots

We all have blindspots — areas in our life where we lack awareness of our own weakness. Whether it is in our professional or personal relationships, we often only play to our strengths, but being mindful is about understanding who we truly are and working to both our strengths and weakness. Meditation can increase the size of your prefrontal cortex, which is the part of your brain associated with self-awareness. Take a few moments to meditate, allowing yourself to acknowledge any blindspots and increase your self-awareness.

Improves sleep quality

Sleep isn’t for nightly relaxation, it is very import for our cognitive function. A few minutes of meditation can improves your sleep quality. Studies show that meditation can also improve total sleep time, sleep latency, and sleep efficiency. A few minutes can give you hours of better sleep.

Interested in mindfulness meditation? There are apps for that! Download Headspace or Calm and try their guided meditations. Make looking after your mind a priority.

Have your tried mindfulness meditation? Tell me about your experience in the comments!

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