Meditation, A Little and Often
Feeling like your mind is on overdrive from living through a chaotic pandemic? Does the art of skilled attention (i.e., focus!) seem farther out of reach from the demands of constantly taking in new information and adapting accordingly?
A recent research study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging by a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found through a controlled study of Magnetic Resonance imaging that meditation has specific and beneficial effects on the brain.
Meditation increases grey matter in the hippocampus, indicating meditation supports learning and memory.
The study also found increased grey matter density in parts of the brain associated with self-awareness.
Evidence of shrinkage of the amygdala was also found in the imaging study, thereby demonstrating a reduction of stress and anxiety with regular meditation.
So many people think that to harness the power of meditation they have to sit still in a quiet room for twenty minutes every single day. ‘Tis not true!
–A LITTLE AND OFTEN– is a phrase to remember to grow the power of your brain through consistent meditation.
Start by finding little moments throughout your day to take a deep breath and take note of any sensations, feelings, thoughts that are present.
And if you’re into habit stacking (i.e., the power of tying a new habit to an old one), tie your short meditations to another habit such as:
- when you first wake up in the morning
- as you make your tea or coffee
- before or after a phone call
- before or after deep concentration
- while waiting in line
- while cooking or eating
We have never needed skilled attention more than we do right now and the good news is it is just one small moment of present-centredness away. Meditate your way through your recovery from the pandemic – feed and grow your brain with meditation – a little and often!