Meditation for Mind Improvement: It Only Takes A Little!

April 20, 2010 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment

Ever wanted to try meditation, but thought you wouldn’t be able to stick with it for long enough to make a difference?  Good news! Even a few short meditation sessions turn out to have measurable effects.Meditation Garden:  Image by Renaudeh on Stock.Xchng

Quite a few studies have documented that  that meditation seems to have a positive impact on the brains of long-term practitioners, but it’s usually been assumed that the length and intensity of their practice was necessary to see the benefits.

That made meditation an unlikely tool for your average Jane or Joe, who has neither the time nor the discipline for a 3 hour daily meditation practice.

But a new study (published this week in Consciousness and Cognition) suggests that even brief flirtations with meditation may have measurable brain benefits.  Over a period of four days, the study participants were instructed in 20 minute mindfulness meditation sessions.  Surprisingly, their cognitive skills improved significantly after the training.

Why is this important?

It suggests that  the brain is far easier to influence with brain-boosting practices like meditation than previously believed.  And if cognitive skills can be improved or maintained with shorter, less frequent exercises, it means more people are likely to commit to and follow through on them.

Basic mindfulness meditation is inexpensive and instruction is readily available.  It requires no special tools or equipment; many excellent resources are available for free online.   The main challenge? A long term meditation practice requires a lot of discipline and patience – and many people never make it past a week or so of practice before giving up in frustration.  But if benefits kick in with less than a week’s worth of sessions? That’s something nearly anyone can do.

Speaking from a personal perspective, I’ve never managed to maintain a meditation practice for more than a few weeks at a time.  It’s quite reassuring to know that that time wasn’t wasted because I didn’t continue.

Does this new info make you more likely to give meditation a whirl?

Entry filed under: Be Mentally Active, Reduce Stress. Tags: , , , .

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About This Blog


A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
  • Physical Exercise
  • Cognitive Training
  • Stress Management
  • Social Interaction
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • A Sense of Purpose & Connection
Authored by Tori Deaux
Sponsored by Dakim Brain Fitness

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