Friday, January 16, 2015

Eavesdrop on Your Brain

One way to get a handle on your self-talk is through meditation (prayer is a form of meditation). It changes your brain. MRI scans have shown that people who meditate regularly show an increase in size in several parts of the brain. They have large frontal lobes (where the brain’s executive functions are located), they increase the amount of gray matter in the midbrain (that handles functions such as blood circulation and breathing) and in the prefrontal cortex (involved with active memory), and so on. And only 12 minutes day of contemplative prayer has been shown to strengthen the frontal lobes of the brain—an anti-aging strategy. Studies have even shown that people who meditate or pray regularly have less brain atrophy. Every brain is different so every brain’s meditative experience will be different. I like to take a few minutes to “eavesdrop,’ to “listen in” to my brain. After all, I won’t know if I don’t eavesdrop!). Then I bring my thoughts to focus toward something I have chosen to contemplate. 

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