Meditation improves memory. While this might seem like a bold statement, the idea that meditation aids memory strength is increasingly supported by neuro study practice. This post will look at the different ways meditation will aid memory, including the science behind it, as well as different meditation exercises you can do to increase your memory potential.
How Does Meditation Affect the Brain
In a study completed by Sara Lazar, it was found that there are several ways in which meditation positively affects the brain. She speaks in detail about her findings to The Washington Post, which you can find here. We have also included these findings, here:
- The posterior cingulate, which affects mind wandering and self-relevance.
- The left hippocampus, which aids learning, cognition, memory, and emotional regulation.
- The TPJ, which helps with perspective, empathy, and compassion.
- The Pons, where regulatory neurotransmitters are produced.
- And, the amygdala, which relates to the feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress.
So, already you can see that there is scientific theory and support that meditation aids memory strength. But, how?
How Meditation Affects Memory
Several studies, like this one by Do-Hyung Kang, argue that frequent meditation improves the brain's cerebral cortex. The cortex focuses on mental functions like concentration and memory. Regular meditation will increase the blood flow to the brain, leading to a stronger network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex and strengthening memory capacity.
Meditations that Aid Memory
There are plenty of meditations that you can do that ultimately will increase memory strength and capacity. However, several, simple meditation techniques have direct links to improving memory and cognition function. The main meditation practice cited by studies is the simple practice of mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation involves us having a deep and non-judgmental awareness of our emotions, feelings, and sensations. Mindfulness directly affects the hippocampus, as shown by the findings in the report findings referenced above by Sara Lazar. You can do mindfulness meditation by:
- Sitting in a comfortable position, in a relaxing environment.
- Pay attention to what your body is doing - how are you sitting? How does your body feel?
- Relax and simply be present in the moment.
- Focus on your breathing. Try to remain in the present moment as you listen, feel, and pay attention to your breathwork.
- When you’re ready, end the meditation. It’s simple, yet effective.
In conclusion, meditation can definitely aid our memory strength. Several studies have proven the direct correlation between certain meditative practices, like mindfulness meditation, and the positive effect on brain function. One key example is the left hippocampus, which controls our memory and cognitive function. We recommend trying out a simple mindfulness meditation for a few weeks to see how your memory and mindfulness improve!