8 Ways Meditation Will Change Your Life

Is meditation the fountain of youth?

With age comes experience and wisdom, but also declining cognitive ability. Peak cognitive performance is reached at about age 25 and from there the brain starts to decrease in size.  So although we may be living longer it comes at the risk of increased mental illness and neurogenerative disease.

In the slide to the right you can see areas of the brain affected by aging (in red) are fewer and less widespread in people who meditate (bottom row) than in people who don’t meditate (top row).1

Dr. Florian Kurth said, “We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating,” he said. “Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”

Dr Eileen Luders and Dr Florian Kurth et al, UCLA

Is meditation the fountain of youth?

With age comes experience and wisdom, but also declining cognitive ability. Peak cognitive performance is reached at about age 25 and from there the brain starts to decrease in size.  So although we may be living longer it comes at the risk of increased mental illness and neurogenerative disease.

In the slide to the right you can see areas of the brain affected by aging (in red) are fewer and less widespread in people who meditate (bottom row) than in people who don’t meditate (top row).1

Dr. Florian Kurth said, “We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating,” he said. “Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”

Dr Eileen Luders and Dr Florian Kurth et al, UCLA

With age comes experience and wisdom, but also declining cognitive ability. Peak cognitive performance is reached at about age 25 and from there the brain starts to decrease in size.  So although we may be living longer it comes at the risk of increased mental illness and neurogenerative disease.

In the slide to the right you can see areas of the brain affected by aging (in red) are fewer and less widespread in people who meditate (bottom row) than in people who don’t meditate (top row).1

Dr. Florian Kurth said, “We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating,” he said. “Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”

Is meditation the fountain of youth?

Dr Eileen Luders and Dr Florian Kurth et al, UCLA

Is meditation the fountain of youth?

With age comes experience and wisdom, but also declining cognitive ability. Peak cognitive performance is reached at about age 25 and from there the brain starts to decrease in size.  So although we may be living longer it comes at the risk of increased mental illness and neurogenerative disease.

In the slide to the right you can see areas of the brain affected by aging (in red) are fewer and less widespread in people who meditate (bottom row) than in people who don’t meditate (top row).1

Dr. Florian Kurth said, “We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating,” he said. “Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”

Dr Eileen Luders and Dr Florian Kurth et al, UCLA

Meditation makes you superhuman

The Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) is the part of our brain that took us from caves to hi-rises.

It gives us the ability to imagine the future, reflect on the past, focus, reason, manage our emotions, solve complex problems, will-power and working memory.

This is the last part of our brain to evolve from an evolutionary standpoint and it’s also the weakest; it goes offline all the time. When you’re stressed, tired, hungry or a little tipsy the PFC is the first thing to go – allowing your caveman brain to take over.

Meditation works out your PFC,2 strengthening it so you have access to this part of your brain for longer periods. Helping you stay focused, not blurt out something you’ll later regret and handle difficult situations more easily. We are not our best when our caveman brain is running the show! You want a stronger PFC!

Dr Sara Lazar et al, Harvard Medical School

Meditation makes you superhuman

The Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) is the part of our brain that took us from caves to hi-rises.

It gives us the ability to imagine the future, reflect on the past, focus, reason, manage our emotions, solve complex problems, will-power and working memory.

This is the last part of our brain to evolve from an evolutionary standpoint and it’s also the weakest; it goes offline all the time. When you’re stressed, tired, hungry or a little tipsy the PFC is the first thing to go – allowing your caveman brain to take over.

Meditation works out your PFC,2 strengthening it so you have access to this part of your brain for longer periods. Helping you stay focused, not blurt out something you’ll later regret and handle difficult situations more easily. We are not our best when our caveman brain is running the show! You want a stronger PFC!

Dr Sara Lazar et al, Harvard Medical School

The Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) is the part of our brain that took us from caves to hi-rises.

It gives us the ability to imagine the future, reflect on the past, focus, reason, manage our emotions, solve complex problems, will-power and working memory.

This is the last part of our brain to evolve from an evolutionary standpoint and it’s also the weakest; it goes offline all the time. When you’re stressed, tired, hungry or a little tipsy the PFC is the first thing to go – allowing your caveman brain to take over.

Meditation works out your PFC,2 strengthening it so you have access to this part of your brain for longer periods. Helping you stay focused, not blurt out something you’ll later regret and handle difficult situations more easily. We are not our best when our caveman brain is running the show! You want a stronger PFC!

Meditation makes you superhuman

Dr Sara Lazar et al, Harvard Medical School

Meditation makes you superhuman

The Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) is the part of our brain that took us from caves to hi-rises.

It gives us the ability to imagine the future, reflect on the past, focus, reason, manage our emotions, solve complex problems, will-power and working memory.

This is the last part of our brain to evolve from an evolutionary standpoint and it’s also the weakest; it goes offline all the time. When you’re stressed, tired, hungry or a little tipsy the PFC is the first thing to go – allowing your caveman brain to take over.

Meditation works out your PFC,2 strengthening it so you have access to this part of your brain for longer periods. Helping you stay focused, not blurt out something you’ll later regret and handle difficult situations more easily. We are not our best when our caveman brain is running the show! You want a stronger PFC!

Dr Sara Lazar et al, Harvard Medical School

Meditation makes you smarter

Who doesn’t want to be smarter? I don’t think any one of us would say no to a few extra IQ points. Or just to remember where we left our car keys!

The part of our brain responsible for memory and learning is the hippocampus. Aging and our modern stressful lifestyles wreak havoc on the hippocampus, causing it to shrink. This is what makes it harder to remember things or take in new information. I should also add that a damaged hippocampus is one of the first signs of Alzheimers. I cannot say this enough, we need to take better care of our brains!

Meditators have up to 15% more hippocampal gray matter than non-meditators.3 Spending just 20 minutes a day working out your brain with meditation reverses the damaging effects of stress and aging. What is the point in living longer if you can’t remember anything? This is a no-brainer!

Dr Eileen Luders et al, University of California Los Angeles

Meditation makes you smarter

Who doesn’t want to be smarter? I don’t think any one of us would say no to a few extra IQ points. Or just to remember where we left our car keys!

The part of our brain responsible for memory and learning is the hippocampus. Aging and our modern stressful lifestyles wreak havoc on the hippocampus, causing it to shrink. This is what makes it harder to remember things or take in new information. I should also add that a damaged hippocampus is one of the first signs of Alzheimers. I cannot say this enough, we need to take better care of our brains!

Meditators have up to 15% more hippocampal gray matter than non-meditators.3 Spending just 20 minutes a day working out your brain with meditation reverses the damaging effects of stress and aging. What is the point in living longer if you can’t remember anything? This is a no-brainer!

Dr Eileen Luders et al, University of California Los Angeles

Who doesn’t want to be smarter? I don’t think any one of us would say no to a few extra IQ points. Or just to remember where we left our car keys!

The part of our brain responsible for memory and learning is the hippocampus. Aging and our modern stressful lifestyles wreak havoc on the hippocampus, causing it to shrink. This is what makes it harder to remember things or take in new information. I should also add that a damaged hippocampus is one of the first signs of Alzheimers. I cannot say this enough, we need to take better care of our brains!

Meditators have up to 15% more hippocampal gray matter than non-meditators.3 Spending just 20 minutes a day working out your brain with meditation reverses the damaging effects of stress and aging. What is the point in living longer if you can’t remember anything? This is a no-brainer!

Meditation makes you smarter

Dr Eileen Luders et al, University of California Los Angeles

Meditation makes you smarter

Who doesn’t want to be smarter? I don’t think any one of us would say no to a few extra IQ points. Or just to remember where we left our car keys!

The part of our brain responsible for memory and learning is the hippocampus. Aging and our modern stressful lifestyles wreak havoc on the hippocampus, causing it to shrink. This is what makes it harder to remember things or take in new information. I should also add that a damaged hippocampus is one of the first signs of Alzheimers. I cannot say this enough, we need to take better care of our brains!

Meditators have up to 15% more hippocampal gray matter than non-meditators.3 Spending just 20 minutes a day working out your brain with meditation reverses the damaging effects of stress and aging. What is the point in living longer if you can’t remember anything? This is a no-brainer!

Dr Eileen Luders et al, University of California Los Angeles

You will process information faster

If you had a computer released in the past year, but everyone else was stuck using computers from 1998, how much of a competitive edge would that speed increase give you?

It would likely be so great that people might start to spread rumors that you’re able to see the future!

What if your brain had a similar increase in processing speed?

Individuals who train their minds with meditation, in as little as 4 20-minute sessions, show increased visuo-spatial processing, executive functioning, and working memory. 4

The cortex, which is the outer layer of your brain, is where all of this takes place. Scientists at UCLA found that long-term meditators have more gyrification (folding of the cortex) than non-meditators. 5

The greater the length of time meditating, the greater the magnitude of the folding and the greater the processing power.

Dr Eileen Luders et al, University of California Los Angeles

You will process information faster

If you had a computer released in the past year, but everyone else was stuck using computers from 1998, how much of a competitive edge would that speed increase give you?

It would likely be so great that people might start to spread rumors that you’re able to see the future!

What if your brain had a similar increase in processing speed?

Individuals who train their minds with meditation, in as little as 4 20-minute sessions, show increased visuo-spatial processing, executive functioning, and working memory. 4

The cortex, which is the outer layer of your brain, is where all of this takes place. Scientists at UCLA found that long-term meditators have more gyrification (folding of the cortex) than non-meditators. 5

The greater the length of time meditating, the greater the magnitude of the folding and the greater the processing power.

Dr Eileen Luders et al, University of California Los Angeles

If you had a computer released in the past year, but everyone else was stuck using computers from 1998, how much of a competitive edge would that speed increase give you?

It would likely be so great that people might start to spread rumors that you’re able to see the future!

What if your brain had a similar increase in processing speed?

Individuals who train their minds with meditation, in as little as 4 20-minute sessions, show increased visuo-spatial processing, executive functioning, and working memory. 4

The cortex, which is the outer layer of your brain, is where all of this takes place. Scientists at UCLA found that long-term meditators have more gyrification (folding of the cortex) than non-meditators. 5

The greater the length of time meditating, the greater the magnitude of the folding and the greater the processing power.

You will process information faster

Dr Eileen Luders et al, University of California Los Angeles

You will process information faster

If you had a computer released in the past year, but everyone else was stuck using computers from 1998, how much of a competitive edge would that speed increase give you?

It would likely be so great that people might start to spread rumors that you’re able to see the future!

What if your brain had a similar increase in processing speed over your competition?

Individuals who train their minds with meditation, in as little as 4 20-minute sessions, show increased visuo-spatial processing, executive functioning, and working memory. 4

The cortex, which is the outer layer of your brain, is where all of this takes place. Scientists at UCLA found that long-term meditators have more gyrification (folding of the cortex) than non-meditators. 5

The greater the length of time meditating, the greater the magnitude of the folding and the greater the processing power.

Dr Eileen Luders et al, University of California Los Angeles

Meditation reduces mind wandering

Dr Matt Killingsworth of Harvard University found that on average our minds are wandering 47% of the time.6 That means almost half of our lives we are living up in our heads thinking (usually not great thoughts either!).

As you’ll see in the next few slides this has serious consequences for our health and happiness.

In this study at Yale University,7 Dr Judson Brewer showed that meditators had significantly reduced activity in 2 key areas of the Default Mode Network, the part of our brain that’s active when our mind is wandering.

Dr Judson Brewer et al, Yale School of Medicine

Meditation reduces mind wandering

Dr Matt Killingsworth of Harvard University found that on average our minds are wandering 47% of the time.6 That means almost half of our lives we are living up in our heads thinking (usually not great thoughts either!).

As you’ll see in the next few slides this has serious consequences for our health and happiness.

In this study at Yale University,7 Dr Judson Brewer showed that meditators had significantly reduced activity in 2 key areas of the Default Mode Network, the part of our brain that’s active when our mind is wandering.

Dr Judson Brewer et al, Yale School of Medicine

Dr Matt Killingsworth of Harvard University found that on average our minds are wandering 47% of the time.6 That means almost half of our lives we are living up in our heads thinking (usually not great thoughts either!).

As you’ll see in the next few slides this has serious consequences for our health and happiness.

In this study at Yale University,7 Dr Judson Brewer showed that meditators had significantly reduced activity in 2 key areas of the Default Mode Network, the part of our brain that’s active when our mind is wandering.

Meditation reduces mind wandering

Dr Judson Brewer et al, Yale School of Medicine

Meditation reduces mind wandering

Dr Matt Killingsworth of Harvard University found that on average our minds are wandering 47% of the time.6 That means almost half of our lives we are living up in our heads thinking (usually not great thoughts either!).

As you’ll see in the next few slides this has serious consequences for our health and happiness.

In this study at Yale University,7 Dr Judson Brewer showed that meditators had significantly reduced activity in 2 key areas of the Default Mode Network, the part of our brain that’s active when our mind is wandering.

Dr Judson Brewer et al, Yale School of Medicine

Mind wandering doesn’t make us happy

The results of Dr Killingsworth’s global study on mind wandering and happiness showed that when our minds are wandering, no matter what we are doing, we are less happy than if we were focused on the task.

Even doing the dishes!

Our attention spans are getting shorter not longer and that is definitely not making us happier.

Although Dr Killingsworth’s study is published, you can still track your own mind wandering by downloading his app at www.trackyourhappiness.org.

Dr Matt Killingsworth et al, Harvard University

Mind wandering doesn’t make us happy

The results of Dr Killingsworth’s global study on mind wandering and happiness showed that when our minds are wandering, no matter what we are doing, we are less happy than if we were focused on the task.

Even doing the dishes!

Our attention spans are getting shorter not longer and that is definitely not making us happier.

Although Dr Killingsworth’s study is published, you can still track your own mind wandering by downloading his app at www.trackyourhappiness.org.

Dr Matt Killingsworth et al, Harvard University

The results of Dr Killingsworth’s global study on mind wandering and happiness showed that when our minds are wandering, no matter what we are doing, we are less happy than if we were focused on the task.

Even doing the dishes!

Our attention spans are getting shorter not longer and that is definitely not making us happier.

Although Dr Killingsworth’s study is published, you can still track your own mind wandering by downloading his app at www.trackyourhappiness.org.

Mind wandering doesn’t make us happy

Dr Matt Killingsworth et al, Harvard University

Mind wandering doesn’t make us happy

The results of Dr Killingsworth’s global study on mind wandering and happiness showed that when our minds are wandering, no matter what we are doing, we are less happy than if we were focused on the task.

Even doing the dishes!

Our attention spans are getting shorter not longer and that is definitely not making us happier.

Although Dr Killingsworth’s study is published, you can still track your own mind wandering by downloading his app at www.trackyourhappiness.org.

Dr Matt Killingsworth et al, Harvard University

Mind wandering decreases cell longevity

Telomeres are protective caps at the end of our chromosomes. Each time a cell divides the telomeres become a little more frayed. Eventually they become so frayed the cell can no longer replicate and it dies. We can see this with our skin, the largest organ in our body, as we age our skin becomes thinner as more cells are dying and unable to replicate.

Stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain all have an effect on our telomere length in addition to just normal aging.

There have been many studies that show a correlation between meditation and telomerase, the enzyme that repairs the telomeres so your cells can keep dividing.

The study to the right done at UCSF shows mind wandering is inversely correlated to telomere length.8

University of California, San Francisco, Mind Wandering and Telomere Length

Mind wandering decreases cell longevity

Telomeres are protective caps at the end of our chromosomes. Each time a cell divides the telomeres become a little more frayed. Eventually they become so frayed the cell can no longer replicate and it dies. We can see this with our skin, the largest organ in our body, as we age our skin becomes thinner as more cells are dying and unable to replicate.

Stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain all have an effect on our telomere length in addition to just normal aging.

There have been many studies that show a correlation between meditation and telomerase, the enzyme that repairs the telomeres so your cells can keep dividing.

The study to the right done at UCSF shows mind wandering is inversely correlated to telomere length.8

University of California, San Francisco, Mind Wandering and Telomere Length

Telomeres are protective caps at the end of our chromosomes. Each time a cell divides the telomeres become a little more frayed. Eventually they become so frayed the cell can no longer replicate and it dies. We can see this with our skin, the largest organ in our body, as we age our skin becomes thinner as more cells are dying and unable to replicate.

Stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain all have an effect on our telomere length in addition to just normal aging.

There have been many studies that show a correlation between meditation and telomerase, the enzyme that repairs the telomeres so your cells can keep dividing.

The study to the right done at UCSF shows mind wandering is inversely correlated to telomere length.8

Mind wandering decreases cell longevity

University of California, San Francisco, Mind Wandering and Telomere Length

Mind wandering decreases cell longevity

Telomeres are protective caps at the end of our chromosomes. Each time a cell divides the telomeres become a little more frayed. Eventually they become so frayed the cell can no longer replicate and it dies. We can see this with our skin, the largest organ in our body, as we age our skin becomes thinner as more cells are dying and unable to replicate.

Stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain all have an effect on our telomere length in addition to just normal aging.

There have been many studies that show a correlation between meditation and telomerase, the enzyme that repairs the telomeres so your cells can keep dividing.

The study to the right done at UCSF shows mind wandering is inversely correlated to telomere length.8

University of California, San Francisco, Mind Wandering and Telomere Length

Modern lifestyles destroy your brain

Most people associate meditation with reduced stress and it’s good to have that association – because meditation does reduce stress.

So I wanted to include a slide that shows what stress does to the neurons in your prefrontal cortex. And it’s not just the prefrontal cortex, stress is damaging neurons all over your brain.

Wonder why you’re having difficulty making a decision, solving a problem or recalling a memory when you’re stressed? Just take a look at this slide and you can see the neuronal connections are drastically reduced under stress.

Fortunately this can be reversed. But don’t wait until it’s too late!

Modern lifestyles destroy your brain

Most people associate meditation with reduced stress and it’s good to have that association – because meditation does reduce stress.

So I wanted to include a slide that shows what stress does to the neurons in your prefrontal cortex. And it’s not just the prefrontal cortex, stress is damaging neurons all over your brain.

Wonder why you’re having difficulty making a decision, solving a problem or recalling a memory when you’re stressed? Just take a look at this slide and you can see the neuronal connections are drastically reduced under stress.

Fortunately this can be reversed. But don’t wait until it’s too late!

Most people associate meditation with reduced stress and it’s good to have that association – because meditation does reduce stress.

So I wanted to include a slide that shows what stress does to the neurons in your prefrontal cortex. And it’s not just the prefrontal cortex, stress is damaging neurons all over your brain.

Wonder why you’re having difficulty making a decision, solving a problem or recalling a memory when you’re stressed? Just take a look at this slide and you can see the neuronal connections are drastically reduced under stress.

Fortunately this can be reversed. But don’t wait until it’s too late!

Modern lifestyles destroy your brain

Modern lifestyles destroy your brain

Most people associate meditation with reduced stress and it’s good to have that association – because meditation does reduce stress.

So I wanted to include a slide that shows what stress does to the neurons in your prefrontal cortex. And it’s not just the prefrontal cortex, stress is damaging neurons all over your brain.

Wonder why you’re having difficulty making a decision, solving a problem or recalling a memory when you’re stressed? Just take a look at this slide and you can see the neuronal connections are drastically reduced under stress.

Fortunately this can be reversed. But don’t wait until it’s too late!

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