Quiet your Busy Brain with Mindfulness Meditation

Researchers have found that the “positive effects of mindfulness meditation may result because of an improved ability to control a specific type of brain wave called the alpha rhythm”.

And it’s this alpha rhythm that helps you quiet your mind and protect it from the ‘noise’ of our crazy, over-stimulating world.

Mindfulness meditation allows people to modulate their alpha rhythm better & faster than non-meditators.

“Mindfulness meditation has been reported to enhance numerous mental abilities, including rapid memory recall,” says Catherine Kerr, PhD, of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH and the Osher Research Center at Harvard Medical School, co-lead author of the report. “Our discovery that mindfulness meditators more quickly adjusted the brain wave that screens out distraction could explain their superior ability to rapidly remember and incorporate new facts.”

Brain cells use particular frequencies or waves to regulate the flow of information in much the same way that radio stations broadcast at specific frequencies. One frequency, the alpha rhythm, is particularly active in the cells that process touch, sight and sound in the brain’s outmost layer, called the cortex, where it helps to suppress irrelevant or distracting sensations and regulate the flow of sensory information between brain regions.

The Study

The study tested 12 healthy volunteers with no previous experience in meditation.

  • Half completed the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program developed at the University of Massachusetts.
  • The other half were asked not to engage in any type of meditation during the study period.

The researchers then measured alpha rhythms in the brain area that processes signals from the left hand while participants were asked to direct their attention to either their left hand or left foot.

Participants’ abilities to adjust the alpha rhythm in cortical cells associated with the hand, depending on where their attention was directed, were recorded during the milliseconds immediately after they received an attention cue.

And by the end of the study, the meditators were able to make faster and better attention-based adjustments to the alpha rhythm than the non-meditators.

Conclusion

If your day to day life has you all stressed out, you may want to take a look at a mindfulness meditation course.

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Reference

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8 comments

  1. […] of Health Habits shares the results of a meditation study.  He tells you to Quiet your Busy Brain with Mindfulness Meditation.  Doug recommends you do mindfulness mediation, especially during stressful […]

  2. Not long before I started meditation and being mindful, I was completely out of control of my life. I felt like I was just coursing through life, doing things in routine, and I hated having to wake up everyday and live my boring, uneventful life. Later I found myself unproductive and lost, until my friends suggested that I just let go of everything that is bothering me and try to pick myself up piece by piece. Through meditation classes and practicing mindfulness, I was able to slowly understand myself and what I truly want, eventually finding myself calmer and more at peace. It does help to stop for a while, especially when there is chaos all around

  3. about 5 years ago i used to do mindfulness exercises after every morning run. i was thirty five then. now i am cornering on the 40 and though i recently resumed walking and running. i still kinda feel down and out and i cannot seem to remember what and how i used to get into mindfulness auras.

    worst part is at this point and considering the country am from (uganda)it is a dream to hope to get back on track without selling an am and a leg.

    can i access any free online yoga and meditation videos! please help thanks guys

  4. I love that you’re promoting meditation. I would like to add that meditation is not without side effects. Just like when we detox our bodies and suddenly break out with acne or have stomach upset, sometimes meditation can raise emotions that we’ve suppressed or ignored for a lifetime, so things can get worse before they get better. For this reason, I feel it’s key to have some instruction, if even just to check in once in a while, to be sure you’re handling it well. I pay an instructor & learn privately, but there are free meetup groups & people willing to teach via skype for a small amount, so it’s not impossible.

  5. i do appreciate this study and found it an interesting reading, but i think it should be repeated with larger numbers before publishing any statements about mindfulness, relaxation or meditation. Only 12 people were tested…

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