We all have lots of work to do on most days. This could include household chores, tasks at work, hanging out with friends, etc. 24 hours aren’t always enough to do everything. We can easily get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
With hectic schedules, we end up compromising on sleep to get more done. Unlike machines, we need to take regular breaks. When we do not get adequate breaks, we end up fatigued. As a result, our productivity and performance levels decline.
We have phases where our thoughts are wandering far away from where we physically are. This could be a distraction like an upcoming vacation that we’re excited about. Or concerns about the health of our dear ones. It is difficult to optimally perform the task at hand with such a mental burden.
Just like a computer needs rebooting when it slows down, humans need to get themselves together when their performance dips. Sometimes this can be done by taking a break to stretch, walk around, read a book, grab a coffee, etc.
Meditation is among the most popular and effective ways of getting back on track. There are several ways one can meditate. There are psychological as well as physical benefits of meditation.
Here’s how meditation can help you in learning:
When it comes to learning, the importance of focus cannot be underestimated. Without proper focus, you may need up to 5 hours to learn what can be learned in an hour by being well-focused. According to a Harvard study, meditation leads to an increase in gray-matter density in the hippocampus of the brain. The hippocampus is key when it comes to learning.
Reading something is one thing and being able to recall it sometime later is another. A study from UCLA found that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains than those who do not meditate at all. The slower the brain ages, the better is the memory.
Those who have been meditating for around 20 years have shown a higher gray-matter density throughout the brain, including the hippocampus. Along with learning, the hippocampus is also responsible for memory.
Former president of the neurofeedback division of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Siegfried Othmer had conducted research on participants using brainwave training. This research shows that the IQ of those who meditated increased by 23 percent. Although we’re not sure if Albert Einstein’s high IQ can be attributed to meditation, it’s safe to say meditation does lead to a significant increase in IQ.
Creativity and Innovation
An experiment at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands to understand the effects of a meditation session before a brainstorming session. It was found that those who meditated properly for 10 minutes generated 22% more ideas. With the continuous changes in technology, we all are needed to be innovative in multiple walks of life. Some of us are also needed to be creative as part of our job. Meditation can really help your creative cause.
Cures depression and anxiety
The aforementioned Harvard study also found that the gray-matter density in the amygdala seemed to decrease as a result of regular meditation. The amygdala plays an important part in anxiety and stress.
Another study conducted by Neurology concluded that those with greater symptoms of depression had worse episodic memory. A good episodic memory is essential is important in learning. Thus, meditation can help in having a better episodic memory which in turn helps in better learning.