The research is in and it’s very exciting. You can lessen the effects of age-related cognitive decline with meditation. Let’s look at all the ways meditation can protect your brain from decline.
* Increased Mental Flexibility – By engaging your brain in the exercise of meditation, you teach it to be more flexible mentally. You’re better able to see that the world is not black and white but rather many shades of colors and is, in fact, unlimited in the scope of possibility.
* Heightened Attention – We’ve known this for many years, but a report in Science Daily in July of 2010 truly shows how meditation improves your ability to pay attention to any task. Our brains do get bored fast if we’re doing tedious tasks. But by adding meditation to your day, you can greatly increase how long you can pay attention to something.
* Better Overall Awareness – The very essence of meditation is to start living in the present and not focus on the past or the future. It helps you mute the constant barrage of thoughts that come into your mind unwantedly. You end up with control over your state in the here and now.
* Improved Memory – Due to the ability to focus better and concentrate, while letting go of outside influences that distract you, the act of meditation will help you remember better. You can improve your memory by focusing more on what you’re doing instead of multitasking all the time, and meditation can help you learn how to do that.
* Increased Mental Quickness – Meditation alters your brain function. It kind of resets your brain so that you can react faster. It’s a bit like rebooting your computer. You get rid of extraneous information and now the computer can react faster. We see evidence of this in brain scans that show that meditators have more stability in their ventral posteromedial nucleus, which is the area of your brain linked to wondering thoughts.
The reason meditation helps prevent (and improve) brain decline is because meditation encourages something called neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to change throughout life. It does this by impacting your brain state and your brain’s networks.
The state of your brain means that it resets your mental processes so that you can concentrate better. It even improves brain tissue, which can be measured by increasing gray matter and the thickness of the neuro networks.
These are amazing findings that you'll want to keep learning about because as we learn more about how meditation affects our brains, we realize why the practice of meditation has been around since antiquity. It's because meditation works!