9 benefits of meditation


for mental clarity & focus - taming the 5 senses

-growing world of Facebook/Twitter updates, shiny new blog posts, up to the minute

breaking news, and other “click-me-now” mediums competing for our monetised minds — it’s no

surprise that our ability to focus and concentrate has taken a dive.

In just over a decade (2000 to 2013), researchers have measured a whopping 33%

downgrade in our average attention span, from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, one second shorter

than that of a goldfish (9 seconds). By making it this far in the article, you can pat yourself on the

back, as 17% of website page views last 4 seconds or less.

It’s quite normal nowadays to have 20 open browser tabs while only reading 10% of the page

content — the endless rabbit hole of distraction made available to us by the internet is part of its’

lure and essence. The problem is when we apply this same principle in other areas of our life.

Focusing on everything effectively leads to focusing on nothing, leaving you a master of

nothing — accomplishing zero in the end.

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to

a focus.” — Alexander Graham Bell

Why are we so “not-in-control” of our thought focus?

It has been said that our senses are like five wild horses pulling a carriage, with the mind serving

as the rein-holding driver. If you cannot learn to effectively harness the speed and direction of

your senses, they can and will run wild on you, galloping randomly anywhere at anytime,

dragging you against your will, kicking and screaming — to places you don’t want to go.

Your ability to focus and concentrate comes down to how successful you are

at taming, controlling, and eventually fully harnessing the incessant push and pull of your socalled

“wild horse” senses.

Our ability to cultivate meaningful relationships, problem solve effectively, reach personal goals,

achieve any kind of success are all directly linked with our ability to focus our attention.

Thankfully, there is an ever-green, time-tested, bulletproof way to re-train and re-focus the

mind that works for everybody. It’s called meditation.

In much the same way that a river dam ensures the perfect amount of water is always available

to downstream households, agriculture, and industry — meditation optimizes the flow of sensory

information (remember the5 wild horse senses?) that can reach your gatekeeping/ bottlenecking thalamus. In turn, without the distraction of having to micromanage the trivial day to day tasks of its’ components, meditation allows your higher function “CEO” cortex to think more deeply, clearly, while problem solving more effectively. With less stimuli and minimised arousal, meditation makes your brain much more efficient, armed with only the highest and best available information, while ignoring the information responsible for lapses in attention and other undesirable disorders like anxiety, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Meditation spring-loads your brain

Meditation also healthfully grows and thickens your brain’s hippocampus/ frontal gray matter, while increasing its’ ultra-important “crinkles” and “folds” (gyrification), effectively strengthening the “spring-load” of your cerebral cortex. All of this extra coil catapults you to a world of amazing benefits: more positive and stable emotions, diminished age-related brain wear and tear, better information processing, more clear/accurate long & short term memory formation, better decision making, all while magnifying your focus & attention. In time, meditation strengthens your ability to confidently tackle any challenge with surgical precision, illuminated by clear, sure-footed steps showing you how to get there. You will have the laser-like mind focus to immerse yourself in whatever you are doing, pouring your all into the task at hand. What is the secret to accessing the limitless benefits of meditation?

Harnessing Neuroplasticity: 9 Key brain regions upgraded through meditation

So, What Is Neuroplasticity? Effectively blowing away the scientific dogma of decades ago, the

newly discovered principle of "neuroplasticity" means that our brain's potential is not set at birth

— we can actually strengthen and improve our brains in ways once believed impossible.

Rebecca Gladding M.D., author of "You Are Not Your Brain" recently wrote: The brain, and how

we are able to mould it, is fascinating and nothing short of amazing."

Scientists agree: Meditation is the number 1 brain changer. Backed by 1000's of studies,

neuroscientists now view meditation as the top way to upgrade your brain, with the potential to

transform your life in many big ways.

Here we dive into 9 key benefits by meditation, as well as the massive implicated benefits.

1. You feel connected. Everybody knows that you have to eat right, exercise, and get

enough sleep if you want to be a happy and healthy person. But very few of us know the

importance of human connectedness to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

In fact, one 2010 study published in "PLOS Medicine" found social connectivity increased

longevity by over 50%! Another study by UCLA Professor of Medicine Dr. Steve Cole showed

feeling connected to others strengthens immunity, while other studies have shown less

anxiety and depression, higher self esteem, more empathy, the list goes on.

Thinking back, when were your happiest times? Laughing, playing, enjoying quality time with

loved ones, friends, and family tops many people's lists, where the natural human connection

redirects our minds away from our past/future tense worries, directly into the present moment.

Meditation is the cure for loneliness. While the very best cure for feeling isolated is a strong inperson

social network and a loving family, this isn’t possible for everybody.

Luckily, meditation activates the so called "social connectivity" parts of our brain, unlocking many

of the same mental, emotional, and physical benefits that come along.

A University of Pennsylvania scientist, Dr. Andrew Newberg, took brain images of Tibetan Monks

during meditation. As expected, their frontal lobes lit up on the screen, just like countless other

studies have shown.

Meditation is your best friend. However, what surprised him most was that the meditators’ "third-dimensional"

based parietal lobes cooled off immensely, which happens to be the same area that becomes overheated when we feel lonely.

Dr. Newburg, now a bestselling author, writes "When people lose their sense of self [in

meditation], feeling a sense of oneness, [this] results in a blurring of the boundary

between self and others...[with] no sense of space or passage of time."

This feeling of oneness achieved through meditation results in feeling less lonely and separated,

releasing a cascade of scientifically proven psychological and physiological benefits, in turn

making you a happier and healthier person. While friends come and go, meditation will always be

there for you!

2. Fortifies the bridge between your brain hemispheres. Your brain has two

hemispheres, left and right. Logical, left-brained people tend to be more practical, most

often good at math and science. Creative right-brained people tend to be more intuitive,

usually best at art and philosophy. Most people use one hemisphere more than the other,

creating an imbalance. Which side is dominant for you?

Unlike the rest of us, brain imaging studies have shown that highly successful people use both

brain halves together, in balance. If only it was possible to train our whole brains to work in

harmony? Thankfully, it is.

A 2012 UCLA School of Medicine study found that meditators "corpus callosum", the grand

central station-like cable of nerves connecting the brain hemispheres, was remarkably stronger,

thicker, and more well connected. This bridge-like structure is super helpful in getting your brain

halves to communicate with each other like never before. What does this monumental healthy

"neuroplastic" brain discovery mean for you?

Integrated brain benefits. Harmonizing both of your brain hemispheres gives you an array of new

abilities: increased focus, deeper thought, more creativity, optimized mental health, better

memory, and clearer thinking, just to name a few.

You will be happier, more optimistic, at one with the world. Financial, academic, and

career success will come much easier, more naturally. You may even regret that you didn’t sync

your brain hemispheres in meditation years ago!

Like constructing a skyscraper’s floors, meditation’s benefits tend to build one on top of the other,

until you can’t even recognise the person you used to be. Meditation is your 'round the clock construction crew building a more successful life.

3. Meditation ends depression, builds memory How to exterminate depression by changing your brain. As 1 in 6 people suffer from depression sometime in their life, there is no shortage of people ready to put their brains under the microscope for a chance at a possible cure. Because of this, we are closer than ever to conquering this ugly mental health issue. A 1996 University of Washington study measured the brains of 10 major clinical depression sufferers. What did they find? The hippocampi of the depressed patients had atrophied considerably, with extra deterioration for each year since their diagnosis. If only there was an all-natural, super effective way to reverse this ugly brain weakening for depression sufferers? There is. A 2008 study published in the Neuroimage Journal found that after only 8 weeks of meditation, the left and right hippocampi of participants had significantly grown in neural thickness, density, and overall size. This incredible finding means that adding meditation to your daily routine can in essence — put your brain on a level too advanced for depression, while putting the depression wheels in reverse.

Like a cricket batsman building up his shoulder muscles to prevent future breakdown, meditators

have built up their brain's hippocampi to levels that effectively make them invulnerable to

depression.

The hippocampus is also the brain's memory centre

Everybody has forgotten where they left their keys or blanked on a friend’s name. However,

memory loss is not an inevitable part of the aging process, there are plenty of older people

with perfect memory.

Why then, do some of us have good memories and others of us can't even remember our coworkers'

names? It's all in your head!

Dr. Larry Squire, a world-renowned psychiatrist at UC San Diego, published a groundbreaking

paper titled "Memory, Hippocampus, and Brain Systems" — illustrating just how critical the

hippocampus is in learning and memory. Pinpointing this key brain region has far-reaching

implications for those looking to retain more information, do better in school, and move up the

career ladder.

If only it was possible to build up your hippocampus? And, in effect, have a leak proof, ultraenhanced

memory with super-learning capacity?

Thankfully, prominent Harvard neuroscientist, Dr. Sara Lazar and colleagues, have studied the

brains of meditators for years. Among many other monumental discoveries, her research shows

that meditators' super-healthy brains seem to always have well-formed, highly developed

hippocampi.

If you want to an air-tight memory with a powerful ability to learn, then many scientists agree that

harnessing meditation's neuroplastic power is the key.

4. Makes you kinder & happier

There is truth to the old saying "Give and you shall receive." Many people think happiness comes

from achieving, acquiring, and receiving, but research says otherwise. Scientists are now finding

that our greatest fulfilment comes from living a life of meaning. It is in compassion — helping

others, feeling connected, where we are trul