In a world where medication can change our minds in an instant, meditation, which uses the mind to change the brain, can be a hard sell. Medication for certain people in particular situations can be very helpful. But I don’t know if medications can change the structure of the brain for the better.
What does it mean to use the mind to change the brain? Some people think that the brain and the mind are the same thing. I’m not a scientist, yet I know that there is a part of me that can witness my thoughts. If I sit and focus on my breath, I can let my thoughts come and go. I am not my thoughts. This means that there is a part of us that can use our intention to change the way the brain works.
Meditation is good for the nervous system, the heart, and the immune system. It helps us learn to focus longer and with less distraction. It helps us to decide what we want to focus on, rather than finding ourselves pulled in many directions.
But in addition, many studies have shown that your brain actually changes the longer you meditate.
How does it change? Meditation physically impacts what is known as the gray matter in our brains. As we get older, the gray matter in our brains gets thinner; but meditation slows down the rate of aging matter, and can even rebuild it.
Our brains never stop changing. Do we want them to change for the better or for the worse?
To read an article about the ways mediation helps the brain:
For some guided meditations:
“We can use the mind to change the brain, to change the brain for the better, to benefit ourselves and other beings.”—Rick Hanson