Like a workout, meditation has its good days and its tough ones. Some days when I meditate, I spend much of the time making lists, hoping desperately I’ll remember them by the end of my 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes, I can barely sit still. Some days, I feel calm. I spend more time focusing on my breath than distractions.
Like a physical workout, no matter how it felt during the activity, I always feel better afterward.
Meditation is a training …
Alison Pearce Stevens, Society for Science & the Public: If you tend to forget your homework or are easily distracted, take heed. A new study shows that teens can improve their memory with a practice known as mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness involves paying attention to what is happening in the current moment. It requires pulling the mind back to the present when thoughts wander. No worrying about the future. Or over something that happened in the past. Just focus on the here and now. And do so without judging events as good or bad.
This mindfulness can be applied to the practice of meditation. In meditation …
Kathryn Doyle, Reuters: Adolescents assigned to a mindfulness meditation program appeared to have improvements in memory in a recent study.
“These results are consistent with a growing body of research in adults that has found mindfulness meditation to be a helpful tool for enhancing working memory capacity,” said Kristen E. Jastrowski Mano of the psychology department at the University of Cincinnati, who coauthored the new study.
The researchers randomly divided 198 public middle school students into three groups: mindfulness meditation, hatha yoga or a waitlist. Most students were female, ages 12 to 15, and from low-income households that qualified for reduced-cost lunch.
Before the study began and …
Meditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson PhD & Richard Mendius (3CDs) Lecia Bushak, Medical Daily: Meditation can alter the brain — and new research shows that it can be used as therapy for cognitive impairment and migraines.
We already know that meditation is good for our mental and physical health, but more and more evidence is delineating just how valuable it could be as an addition to our daily lives.
In a new research report, researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center examined the efficacy of a meditation and yoga program known as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) …
Stress-Proof Your Brain, by Rick Hanson (2 CDs)Sravanth Verma, Digital Journal: Harvard researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital reported that the practice of mindfulness meditation can physically alter regions of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress.
The study, to be published in January 2015, in “Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging” indicates that the brain’s gray matter may change as a result of meditation.
“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” said …
Science2.0.com: Mindfulness. Zen. Meditation drumming. Chakra. Buddhist and transcendental meditation. It evokes eastern mystics and hip elites in California pretending to to leave their corporeal forms behind and achieve some higher state of being.
But what about poor stressed-out wretches that can’t afford to fly in big-name Yogis? What does the research say? Not much.
But researchers would like to change that – fMRI imaging can tell us very little about what is really happening, but it’s a start. The authors of a new paper on meditation say that different meditation techniques can actually be divided into two main groups.
One type is concentrative …
Beth Taylor, PayScale.com: When we think of meditation, we may think of relaxation, breathing, and emptying the mind of stressful thoughts. It may be surprising to learn that the act of quiet meditation increases mental acuity and makes us more productive at work. Instead of meditation emptying our minds, it actually helps fill them with improved concentration and creativity.
Psychology Today reports on a plethora of benefits from including meditation in your routine. Decreasing stress is one, and improving physical health is another. Some of the benefits, however, are directly related to work productivity.
A study published in 2007 found that after …
Every summer I spend six weeks teaching a study skills and personal development course to teens from low income families as part of a federally funded program called Upward Bound (not Outward Bound). It’s kind of crazy: every year I feel like I almost totally miss the summer because I’m teaching, grading, doing class prep, and attending various meetings. I end up sleep-deprived and completely exhausted. And the pay’s not great. But it’s totally worth it.
Part of the course involves meditation, and it’s consistently the part of the course that gets the biggest positive response in the end-of-course evaluations that the kids hand in. I’ve described the educational benefits mostly in terms of … Read more »
Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital determined that mantra-based meditation can have a positive impact on emotional responses to stress, fatigue and anxiety in adults with memory impairment and memory loss. Their findings are published in the recent issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Their study placed 15 older adults with memory problems ranging from mild age-associated memory impairment to mild impairment with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease on a regimen of Kirtan Kriya, a mantra-based meditation, for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks. A control group was assigned to listen to classical music for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks.
Earlier results from the study showed significant increases in … Read more »
The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation has announced data demonstrating that a meditation performed daily for eight weeks increased brain activity in areas central to memory and actually improved cognition in patients suffering from memory problems. The results of the study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, will be published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in April, 2010.
The risk of Alzheimer’s disease rises dramatically as people age and, as the ranks of our nation’s elderly swell, the number of people facing this dreadful disease will devastate our already overburdened healthcare system. Slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s by five or ten years would lessen this burden dramatically, but few options to slow, or perhaps … Read more »