This Blog continues to lay the foundations for future blogs. Recently I wrote about creating the conditions for mindfulness, This week I will be focusing on the Mindful Brain. That is, meditation or the practise of contemplation can switch on the frontal lobes which help to regulate our emotions.
I am a regular attender of the The Happiness and Its Causes Conference. Their most recent conferences focused on the impact of lifestyle factors on improving our happiness and well being and brain functioning. The results are strongly evident that meditation does change our brain. What seems to happen with a regular practise of meditation, just 20 minutes a day is that the structures of the brain for emotional regulation and happiness get switched on permanently. The grey areas of the brain ( the cortex) also increase. A regular practise of meditation not only makes us calmer, but happier and smarter.
Exercise also helps. 20 minutes of walking a day can improve our brain functioning, improve our immune system functioning and increase our life span. All of this for no cost other than a commitment to exercise and contemplation.
The good news is that we can transform our minds, our health and with this our lives with changing how we think and how we live. So lets do it. Just a simple step of making a small commitment to having small moments of stillness in the day can be the starting point for change.
This is even more important as a tool for helping us with managing depression, anxiety and stress. More importantly, regular practise creates the foundation in our brain structures for maintaining optimal emotional and physical health and can prevent future relapses of depression and anxiety. If sitting quietly on a chair or cushion seems to too difficult at present, then starting with keeping a journal can also be a helpful tool for raising awareness. With keeping a journal simply setting aside a regular time for recording your thoughts and mood and action urges helps with increasing your awareness of your mind and its functioning. With this commitment comes the opportunity for change and transformation through awareness.