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My Meditative Moments

Just 10 Minutes A Day?

by meditative - August 14th, 2015.
Filed under: Insights For Mindfulness Training.

Many beginning practitioners ask the question as to how can meditation benefit the novice- the amateur? Neuroscientists are increasingly turning their attention towards this question and finding surprising results. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin – Stout have investigated the effects of short periods of mindfulness on beginner meditators.  They looked at the electrical activity in a part of their brains called the prefrontal cortex, which sits just behind your forehead. People who have more electrical activity on their right hand side compared to their left, are typically more prone to anxiety and rumination. People with more activity on their left side compared to their right, are typically more optimistic and can bounce back from difficulties more easily…

The researchers taught the mindfulness group how to meditate over a period of five weeks.  At the end of the period, they compared their brain activity, while meditating, to how it was when they first started and found that their activity had significantly shifted towards the left hand side, whereas in the control group it had not.  On average, the mindfulness group had only been practicing for 10 minutes a day This study demonstrates that even small amounts of mindfulness can have a demonstrable impact on the way the brain functions while we meditate.

Another study from University of Wisconsin, Madison, looked at changes in mindfulness practitioners’ baseline levels of prefrontal cortex activity, not just while they were meditating. They also found significant shifts to more left hand activity, suggesting that the effects while we meditate can actually spill over into our everyday life and change our baseline levels of happiness and optimism.

So “ Take 10”– not only will you be developing your awareness and concentration, but you’ll also be increasing the activity in parts of your brain related to optimism and resilience and be on your way to making fundamental changes to your baseline levels of happiness.

 

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