Do Different Types of Meditation Impact the Brain Differently?
With the introduction of MRIs and other brain imaging tools, scientists have a new arsenal of ways to uncover how meditation impacts the brain.
Once considered a bit of a fad, mindfulness meditation has garnered medical backing in recent years with this new wave of research that has identified concrete ways that the practice benefits our minds and bodies.
But how does mindfulness meditation compare to other forms of relaxation techniques? And is there a different between how mindfulness meditation affects our brain as opposed to other forms of mediation practices?
A team of neuroscience researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences wanted to find out.
So to answer this question, they examined 300 participants in a far-reaching study that included a nine-month meditation program.
The project, which was known as ReSource, concentrated on three months of three distinct forms of meditation practices:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Compassion, Social skill enhancing meditation
- Meditation aimed to improve cognitive skills
Using Technology to View Changes in the Brain
During the nine months, the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other techniques to see how the participants’ brains changed after each period.
Two results stood out to the researchers at the end of the study.
- Each distinct type of meditation did impact the subjects differently.
- The researchers were amazed how much the brains had changed positively after just three months.
The mindfulness meditation session was arguably the most illuminating.
Enhancing Brain function
After the three-month period of mindfulness meditation, the participants had a distinctive thickening in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which was a clear indication of an enhancement of complex thinking, decision making, and attention.
The other varieties of meditation showed enhancements in their relative arenas, (more compassion, and better cognitive thinking), but the mindfulness meditation group stood out for many reasons, including the dramatic results.
Results and studies like these are a key reason why so many Fortune 500 companies turn to mindfulness meditation as a way to boost productivity across the board.
Adding Value to the Office
The majority of meditation programs that are adopted by businesses are mindfulness based because they increase those brain functions that are the most valuable at the office.
Being able to be a better problem solver, focus on projects, manage tasks and time and make solid decisions are all key attributes of a valuable CEO or employee, and with clear results and changes that occur after just weeks, mindfulness meditation can truly evolve a business.
So keep up your mindfulness meditation practice for your career, or for just yourself.
Mindful Meditation Adds Value
If you have a small company or are a team leader, a mindfulness meditation program can go a long way in ensuring your colleagues perform at their best.
And if you want to take your professional ambitions to the next level, mindfulness meditation will give you the inherent traits to move forward.
People practice meditation for a variety of reasons, and mindfulness meditation can truly help with everything from aches and pains, to feeling inspired and energized.
Encouraged by physicians, researchers, and employers alike, mindfulness meditation truly enhances your life in more ways than one.
We Can Help
Once you’re on the path, you’ll be amazed at how far meditation will take you. I offer both classes in my office and online.