What can possibly connect meditation to neuroscience? Ancient meditators used to dedicate their whole life to spirituality and studying their own nature, especially the nature of one’s mind. Inside what they called the mind tons of thoughts and emotions constantly traveled back and forth, like little people in little cars on little roads (well, that is my modern comparison, there were no cars at that time for them to compare their thoughts to, you are right!) Meditators cared very little for those pesky little “creatures” – thoughts. Those thoughts were also very “hungry guys” and craved for more. Yet ancients soon realized that if they would stop feeding those pesky “little creatures,” the mind will become peaceful and finally get still. So they soon learn that the mind is not something that should rule “you,” but that “you” should rule the mind. With the mind still and quiet, the ancients believed another form of vision opened itself, And that new form was a much more clear vision that that of the “mind full of thoughts.” Now we all or at least very many of us know what meditation is. This process of quieting one’s mind on demand (as one of the technique) is called meditation ( I understand over-simplification here, but it is done on purpose). Modern neoroscientists call it brain exercises. The word meditation is not very popular in the field. And yet the techniques is the same. Now many, if not all of us know that our brain changes and often visible changes are possible due to these or other brain exercises. The term that is popular is the field is brainplastisity. Certain meditation techniques are offered in the field of neuroscience as well as meditation to re-wire and reshape the brain. For people who don’t meditate at all and no nothing about what I am even talking about the brain works in so to call “default-thought mode.” Also the parts of brain that are responsible for fear and anxiety show less neurological activity in the people who meditate on a regular basis. Although neuroscience was the first modern field that got so involved in the studies of meditation techniques, psychology got interested in meditation as well. Psychology uses another term “cognitive talk therapy” to describe the notion that your thoughts are not “you.” Meditators fast learn to notice how repetative our thoughts are. Our thoughts are mere interpretation of what we see around. They do not represent reality clearly. Whether those thoughts are positive or negative very clearly depend on way to many circumstances. So the way we interpret the world today may depend on our physical state, our hormonal level, whether we are stressed, hot, warm, cold, hungry, full of energy, or not so much…. We can interpret somebody’s behavior very wrongly just because of all those and many other things. Bad and negative thoughts are just stupid stories in your head. Stop feeding them and allow them to get quiet and not so agitated. There are many different meditation techniques. And they are not all the same. Start with something simple. And it does not need to be watching your breath because it can soon get boring and discouraging for some more active people. So do jogging meditation, swimming meditation, hiking meditation, yoga meditation, tai chi meditation, and what not, as long it clears your mind. Feel free to look for some of meditation techniques I write about on my Mindful Breathing Site, and feel free to read my personal story. Also, if you are not my friend on Facebook yet and you have an account and love to learn or share on the topic of meditation or any similar topic – feel free to add me: Evelina Iablonskaya (the first letter is an “i”)/ and instagram evaisco/ Hope to hear from you soon, my dear friends. I love you all. We are all in this together. Evelyn J.
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When I turned 40 (and that happened 7 years ago) I realize that the health I had been always taking for granted needs to be taken care of or else... Now out of a sudden there was a bouquet of blood pressure and digestive problems; surgeries, stress, panic... I started reading about yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. These changed my life. I lost weight, became capable of managing my stress easier. With so many wonderful people around and all over the world helping each other to stay fit and healthy, I believe that it is my turn now to share my own story of success, and allow those who are in need to learn from it and start believing in themselves. Enjoy! View all posts by mindfulbreathsite