Friday, April 5, 2019

Use Your Head to Get an Edge

For this season of Lent, I have challenged myself to meditate every day. Until now, I have blogged about it, recommended it, talked about it but have never made the time to practice meditation daily. I am doing well and noting progress. I remind myself that the practice is the important part, not meeting a specific goal. Here are three brain benefits you can discover from investing just a few minutes a day.
Meditation can help your focus become sharper.
By strengthening your pre-frontal cortex, the area of your brain used for planning and decision-making, meditation makes it easier to lock in on what you're doing in the moment. You're creating new neural pathways that help you stay in the moment and that can improve your performance whether you're managing a board meeting, playing tennis or trying to keep the beat in a dance cardio class.

Meditation can help you push past your limits.
The last rep, the final lap in the pool or mile on the trail - that's the tough one. Harnessing your brainpower can help you cut through the discomfort. Meditators can tone down the part of their brain that judges and tries to control pain. Instead, they are able to view it with a relaxed, non-judging attitude. By training the mind, you can learn to deal with discomfort in a new way.

Meditation can help you gain workout willpower.
Mindfulness is really powerful in that moment right before you decide whether to run that extra mile, stay through class or swim five more laps.  By acknowledging the itch to quit and instead taking a breath to let the impulse pass, you are creating a space to make a better choice - one that gets you some progress.
Meditation is just like working out. The more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. Recent research has found that just a few weeks of meditation can thicken your brain stem and increase your gray matter. Practice and consistency will strengthen your brain and nervous system the same way lifting weights strengthen your muscles.

Check out these previous blog posts for more on meditation: Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Willpower and Brain-Body Benefits of Meditation

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Begin Mediating This Week

No comments:

Post a Comment