What is the Science Behind Meditation?
The human race tends to believe that meditation tools just like physical growth, mental growth reaches a certain peak in adulthood and then starts deteriorating as an individual move towards old age. But with the advancing technology and the means to evaluate brain activities, neuroscientists have proved that no matter what age one is at, every stimulus or the input that a brain receives can make changes in the brain’s structure.
Living in the present is more important than worrying about the future and regretting the past. We feel like it’s easier said than done. There’s a lot of difficulty in making our brain function well because emotions, feelings, thoughts, and sentiments tend to reorganize the brain and its activities toward an undesirable path. That is where meditation works.
Meditation occurs in various forms, which are explained further. Let’s take a look at the wide forms of meditation.
Different forms of meditation
Meditation on the brain has different forms depending upon the area of action . These are :
This meditation increases the ability to concentrate on a human. It increases beta and gamma wave activity. Beta waves have an occurrence with a frequency range of 12-30 Hz. Gamma waves are a solid proof of the human brain working hard.
This style of meditation helps in slowing down the racing/impulsive thoughts and bringing calmness to the mind as well as the body. This style increases frontal midline theta activity. Theta waves have a tendency to act predominantly when an automatic task is being done. During meditation, theta waves were most likely to be observed in the frontal and the mid parts of the brain. Theta waves give rise to a positive mental state and also sharpens the memory, along
with everyday functions like good problem-solving skills.
Quiet mind meditation:
This style of meditation ensures that the mind achieves awareness that is not only restful but also open. It results in an increase in gamma wave activity, which is correlated to intense focus. These waves lead to an increase in positive emotions by leading to a decrease in depressive symptoms.
Open heart meditation:
It is the kind of meditation where we let go of the negative thoughts holding us. Alpha1 activity is increased with this meditation style. “This wave type has been used as a universal sign of relaxation during meditation and other types of rest,” comments Professor Øyvind Ellingsen from NTNU.
These days, technology is at its peak, and we humans are in need of devices to assist us in various tasks. It’s quite interesting to know that we have a device called ‘meditation headband’ which has proven to be extremely useful for the wide human species. Let’s learn about a meditation headband.
Brain wave monitoring or Meditation headband
Meditation Headband – This headband is similar to a Brain EEG device, which measures your brain waves and informs you when you are off track. When you enter deep meditative states, your brain develops different brain wave frequencies, like Alpha, Beta, Theta, Gamma and Delta. During meditation, the brain tends to go into Theta wave frequency. This headband lets you know the state of mind you are in and directs you to the desired frequency throughout the entire process.
A meditation headband is a meditation wearable device that monitors one’s brain waves or assists in achieving deeper meditation by brain stimulation. The best meditation headbands are great sources to enhance one’s meditation sessions. Additional to this, meditation headbands are quite simple to use which makes the overall process easy and user-friendly.
Some other benefits include –
- They monitor our brain waves and identify if we are stressing ourselves too much, and also provide regular reminders to relax the mind.
- They help you in gaining the most out of your meditation session, which is crucial as meditation should be done effectively.
- Technology has made humans dependent on devices, and we need something to guide us through the entire process of meditation. A meditation headband acts as a coach and teaches us how to meditate.
Scientific proof for the impact of Meditation on the brain
Focusing on the two critical areas of study that work on a scientific basis to show what meditation brings, they are neuroimaging and neurochemistry.
These are the detailed scans of the brains that depict meditation helps in long-term neuroplasticity, thereby permanently altering the brain.
Meditation is almost similar to the physical workout you do to prepare your muscles. Meditation is training for the neurons to bring about sound mental health in an individual. The basic
fundamental is to charge the neurons in a way so that the connections and the neural pathways are what an individual looks for.
The human body is a complex machine that not only is capable of multitasking but has all the means to repair itself. People who suffer from depression, anxiety or any mental health issues are often prescribed drugs. Science says that these drugs can produce chemicals within themselves. Serotonin is one such chemical that helps in regulating the stress level of the body. Meditating makes sure that the meditator won’t have to consume them externally. This way, the brain gets the required amount of chemicals without taking any additional measures.
Meditation provides a long list of fruitful benefits, some of them are:
- Meditating effectively helps a person get better and sound sleep which is necessary for the proper functioning of the mind as well as of the body.
- Meditation helps us in getting access to the different states of consciousness occurring in our mind.
- It lowers the blood pressure and heart rate, inviting calmness.
- It also helps in reducing worrisome factors like anxiety, stress, or tension.
- It increases the ability of a person to focus on a particular task.
- Lastly, it invites positivity and breaks the undesirable states of our mind and balances our emotions.
The golden rule that meditation works on is that meditation does not need to be inconvenient. No, meditation is not just another random technique that might or might not prove helpful. Studies and research have demonstrated that meditation can bring about a change in the way neurons behave. If the brain has more grey matter, it is known to possess more power to process information, learn and simultaneously act upon it. A meditator tends to have more grey matter in their brains, which eventually makes them attentive and provides an emotional and mental balance. This is what millions dream of but are unaware of how simply this can be achieved.
- The science of meditation by Daniel Goleman, The headspace guide to meditation and mindfulness
- Meditation Interventions to Rewire the Brain: Integrating Neuroscience Strategies for ADHD, Anxiety, Depression & PTSD, Dr. Jeff Tarrant