Starve your distractions, feed your focus, it’s a mantra you’re likely familiar with. But let’s be honest: in a world where multitasking is held up as a badge of honor and inboxes and to-do lists are never-ending it can be a challenge to tap into an extremely focused state.
Why Focus is so Important
The act of taking charge of our time and energy and learning to focus our attention is powerful. In focus we find energy. In energy we find creativity, productivity, and purpose. What this looks like in real life is that we no longer have to push ourselves to get things done as focus pulls us toward valued outcomes and meaning-making tasks.
In the most simplistic of statements: the ability to focus is vital because it’s the gateway to all thinking, perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. And meditation is the powerful neurohacking tool you need to get started.
Starve your distractions. Feed your focus.
How Meditation Rewires Your Brain and Increases Focus
The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in for years now. Meditation has amazing neurological benefits - from altering grey matter volume, to stress reduction, improved focus, and increasing creativity.
Even skeptics have to acknowledge the science supporting how meditation helps relieve subjective levels of anxiety and depression, improves concentration and aids in overall psychological well-being. If the research is right, even a few minutes spent meditating will impact your life in large, meaningful ways. And the benefits are not limited to focus alone. Here are 5 ways meditation rewires the brain.
Meditation Improves Focus
In a world laced with distractions we all need tools to help us optimize focus and concentration. Meditation delivers on both counts.
One study found that just a couple of weeks of meditation training helped people’s focus and memory during the verbal reasoning section of the GRE. In fact, the increase in score was equivalent to 16 percentile points.
Meditation Keeps Your Brain Young
Tools that support healthspan and longevity are always on our radar and here, too, meditation impresses.
This study found that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains when compared to non-meditators as they aged. Participants who’d been meditating for an average of 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout the brain.
Meditation For Stress Reduction
Meditation is well known for being effective at reducing stress and anxiety. One study found that meditation significantly reduced stress when practiced over a period of three months. Another study reports how meditation literally reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying.
Meditation Increases Creativity
Tired of hitting creative blocks? Meditation may provide a solution. Multiple studies show that both mindfulness and meditation boost creativity and problem solving abilities.
Meditation Can Reduce Physical and Mental Pain
Perhaps the most amazing benefit of meditation is that it has the capability to reduce mental and physical pain better than morphine. Yes, you read that right. Check the research, here.
Meditation Tools We Love
As Neurohackers we are constantly exploring techniques to help us optimize the quality of our lives, beginning with the mind. It’s for this reason that you’ll find many of the Neurohacker team members make meditation a part of their daily routine. Here are two tools that aid in meditation that we can’t get enough of:
- Meditation Masterclass by Optimize. Ready to meditate without moving to the Himalayas? This free, 10-lesson class by optimize will help you get started. Should you decide to continue your meditation journey with a membership save 10% off with code NEUROHACKER.
- TRIPP App. In reference to the Tripp VR Meditation app, Darrell Grable, Neurohacker Director of Partner Sales, says, “I have trouble quieting my mind. Tripp is immersive enough that it makes entering a meditative headspace easier for me.” Explore the app, here.
- Muse headband. Muse is a brain-sensing headband that provides real-time feedback on your brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movements to help you build a consistent meditation practice. We’re big fans.
- How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends With Your Mind. When it comes to meditation, Pema Chödrön is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost teachers. Yet she’s never offered an introductory course on audio—until now. Learn more, here.
- POWERMASK. The POWERMASK is for people that understand the importance of mental fitness. Just like your body, your mind is enhanced by regular workouts. When paired with breathing exercises or their meditation app the mask is straight-up magic. Check it out.
Do you have a favorite meditative style? Share it with us in the comments below.