How Meditation Changes the way you Think!
Focus on a single point….focus on a single point….mind wanders….mind wanders….focus on a single point……..
Too common is this state of mind. Some call it “the monkey mind”, others might call it anyone who lives in the 21st-century mind. Look at how many tabs you have open on your computer, look at your to-do list – no wonder my mind can’t keep still!!!!!
As our lives get busier, so do our minds. We are not meant to constantly be thinking, analyzing, worrying, and planning. Our minds are so busy that half the time we don’t even know what presence really means. Some enlightened guides say that an enlightened being is someone who is fully in the present moment all the time.
Meditation is a great technique to help quiet the mind, eliminate thoughts, worries, and doubts. It helps center us and keep us grounded. More and more research has been done on the effects of meditation on the brain, and researchers keep finding more evidence that meditation can actually change the wiring in your brain. Basically, sitting for long periods of times, and learning to focus your mind can change the patterns of thought that normally repeat in your mind throughout the day. Meditation can also get to the root of where these thoughts originated and help you learn to let go of these thoughts or beliefs. Meditation helps loosen the connections in certain neural pathways that cause feelings such as anxiety.
Meditation helps with our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system., in other words, our fight, flight, or freeze reactions. When we sit in a meditation and train the mind to be still, we learn not react as much. It actually calms our central nervous system. Meditation teaches us to be able to sit amongst the storm of anxious thoughts and learn to be at peace with these thoughts. We learn to not attach ourselves so much to these thoughts, and just recognize these thoughts as….well, thoughts.
Here are the four main parts of the brain that meditation affects:
The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls cognitive skills: memory, language, problem-solving, judgment, planning for the future, and attention span. When we meditate, this part of the brain slows down and makes you not react so strongly to exterior sensations. We are more likely to respond rather than react when this part of our brain is calm.
Parietal lobe controls two parts: sensation and perception, and sensory input. Sensation and perception are related more to taste, touch, and sound, while sensory input controls more of the visual system. During meditation, this part of the brain slows down.
The Thalamus is located in the center of the brain and controls sensory signals including; sensory perceptions, consciousness, and sleep. The main function is for language and the motor system. The Thalamus is the part of the brain that helps people focus. Meditation helps slow down this part of the brain and helps keep the mind focused, working on that single pointed mindset we are all striving towards.
Reticular formation plays a major role in arousal, sleep, and consciousness. Meditation helps slow down this part of the brain, making us less reactive in situations and slowing us down.
Not only does meditation help us calm our thinking and teach us not to react as much, it helps us be compassionate towards others. We learn to realize that other people are just stuck in their own thought patterns, which is usually the reason behind their actions.
Meditation can make you feel so much lighter, happier, and kinder.