Can Meditation Improve Memory?

Two-Time USA Memory Champion, memory training expert and memory keynote Ron White memory guy shares his thoughts on meditation and its impact on memory.

There are recent studies out that link meditation to memory by increasing the size of blood vessels and blood flow to the brain’s cerebral cortex, causing it to thicken. Advanced brain scanning technology has shown that meditation directly affects not only the function, but the structure of the brain that can increase attention span, sharpen focus, and increases memory capacity.

Historically, research has show some of the greatest discoveries and work is done by scientists and inventors during periods of deep meditation, and ordinary people can improve memory through the use of meditation techniques.

Walter Zimmerman is the Chief Technical Analyst for United Icap. He works in a highly stressful industry, and is paid upwards of $3,000 per month by each of over 2,000+ institutional investors, including airlines and oil companies, to analyze energy futures.  Zimmerman’s secret to success is not non-stop work and the ability to analyze charts. He attributes his success to 40 minutes of meditation twice a day. “Meditation,” he says, “is my secret weapon” to help maintain clarity.

Transcendental meditation has become a useful tool for large corporations like Deutsche Bank, Google and Hughes Aircraft. They encourage their employees to attend, and some even provide free classes on the premises that allows their employees to de-stress, sharpens their minds and improve productivity.

Many people who practice regular meditation state they are able to concentrate better and feel refreshed when they complete their sessions. This is because they go into a deeper and more relaxed state that allows their brain to rest, and they come out completely rejuvenated. Several euphoric chemicals are released while in this condition, which allows the body to feel more relaxed and happier, much more a simple nap can accomplish. This mind state rids our system of subconscious angers, depression and anxieties. Deep meditation has also been shown to dramatically reduce, and even reverse diseases of all types, including cancer.

Dr. Sara Lazar, a researcher at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, made an announcement last November indicating her team’s research showed that the gray matter of 20 men and women who meditated for just 40 minutes daily using a Western-style of meditation called “mindfulness or insight meditation,” was thicker than that of people who did not. “We showed for the first time that you don’t have to do it all day for similar results,” says Lazar. Previous studies in this area focused on Buddhist monks, who spent the entire day in meditation. Even more insightful, her findings suggest that portions of the brain that naturally thin with age are slowed in those who practice regular meditation.

“You are exercising the cerebral cortex while you meditate, and it gets bigger,” Lazar says. The finding is in line with studies showing that accomplished musicians, athletes and linguists all have thickening in relevant areas of the cortex. It is further evidence, says Lazar, that yogis “aren’t just sitting there doing nothing”.

This research can lead to advances in the studies of aging and dementia, in accelerated learning and memory improvement, as well as how your mind affects your body and aging.

If increased memory, better health and a positive attitude is a result of meditation, why don’t more people do it? The reason is simple – it requires a large amount of time and effort, and can tend to seem more like a chore than a lifestyle. There is a discipline and commitment needed in order for meditation to be beneficial that most people won’t tolerate for long – much like a New Year’s resolution.

The up side is that even if you spend 20 minutes a day trying to get into a meditative state the long-term effects to your health could be beneficial enough to make the effort. What have you got to lose? Meditation gives you a release of pent up negativity that provides for a healthier mental attitude, memory improvement, and a clearer and more focused mind.

 

 

Research:

EOC Institute – Instant Deep Meditation: http://www.eocinstitute.org/meditation_s/45.htm?gclid=CIb7wqb01agCFcq8Kgod-lhBCw

Memory Improvement Techniques – Meditation and Memory: http://www.memory-improvement-tips.com/meditation-and-memory.html

“Time Magazine” – How To Get Smarter One Breath At A Time: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1147167,00.html#ixzz1LhBljwKc

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