There has been a surge of interest in meditation in recent years due to mounting scientific evidence and research that links regular meditation with improved physical and mental health and well-being.
Meditation has a great deal of brain boosting effect also, including improved memory, attention span and learning capabilities. This article will explore the ways in which meditation can improve learning.
Improved problem-solving abilities
Studies show that practicing meditation can help us become more creative and flexible in our thinking. This in turn improves our ability to problem-solve and conceive of novel or original ideas.
Scientists have also found that meditation stimulates areas of the brain which are pivotal for learning; in particular the hippocampus and the frontal lobe. These areas are highly active during the learning process and while meditating.
Meditation will flex and strengthen these brain regions which leads to an improved capacity to memorise, store and recall information.
Increased capacity for focus and attention
The act of meditation helps us to clear and still our mind and focus on the present moment for long periods. This can positively affect the brain in a number of ways. For example, meditation can help us improve our ability to focus and concentrate, as regular meditation over time can help to significantly improve and lengthen our attention span.
Research shows that not only does it improve our ability to focus and pay attention but it could even help reverse brain patterns that bring about mind-wandering, worrying and poor attention.
All of these tendencies can be a huge obstacle to learning and making progress. So by bringing about this powerful change in our brains through meditation we can help accelerate learning as well become more efficient and productive.
Meditation could have an important role to play in education. Not only can it help students study and learn more effectively by improving attention span, but it can also help allow for better sleep which will aid memory retention as well as help alleviate stress and anxiety.
Regular meditation practice has also been shown to help support the immune system. Being able to stave off more colds and staying fit and healthy puts us at a huge advantage. We can learn better and be more productive when our mind and body are operating at peak performance.
Regular meditation helps to increase the blood flow to the brain. This leads to strengthened blood vessels in the cerebral cortex region which can help improve memory capacity. The cerebral cortex is responsible for dealing with functions such as learning, concentration and memory. Even meditating for just 20 minutes a day could be enough to help boost memory and concentration.
Meditation improves whole brain synchronisation
Scientific research has shown that people with increased brain synchronicity - that is the level to which both hemispheres of the brain communicate with one another - can show more success, creativity and intelligence. These traits are thought to rely in part on both the level of communication between the different parts of the brain. as well as the amount of neural connections in the brain.
Meditation can both build and strengthen neural connections as well as improve synchronisation between the two hemispheres. Research shows that creating music amongst other artistic and creative endeavours can have a similar effect on the brain. This in turn can lead to improved problem-solving skills and even the development of superior multi-sensory skills.