Life today is not the simple life it used to be many years ago. We have so much stimulation from various different areas of our lives. We wear several hats, and must keep our plates spinning in the air at all times. It is exhausting for even the most organized, level-headed person. So what is the result of the circus-like life we lead?
You know what I mean by fuzzy brain. You’ve no doubt experienced it, and probably quite often. You try to grasp a single thought but it eludes you. You are brain multi-tasking, and forget the most important thing. You are tired, but not from lack of sleep. You find yourself frowning and sighing…a lot. You feel like you cannot possibly entertain another thought or task, and yet it arrives, unwelcome, and you take that on too. And you are left with a haziness, a clouded feeling, confusion, and an overwhelming desire to dump it all and just escape. Fuzzy brain.
A tool to beat all tools
The tool you need is not new; it has been used for a very long time. But all of its benefits may not be that familiar to you. It is meditation.
You may reject this tool right off the bat with the thought many people have; meditation requires focus and the last thing you have right now is focus. We’ll cover that later. But first, the benefits.
Most people are aware that meditation relaxes you. When I say aware, I mean they are intellectually aware. They may never have successfully experienced it, but they just know it improves physical relaxation. It also can bring a sense of peace and calmness. That alone will help to improve your brain function; but there is more.
Neuroplastic changes in the brain
A study done by Harvard neuroscientists showed that meditation changes the gray matter in the brain after only 8 weeks of meditation practice, causing “cognitive and psychological benefits throughout the day” (Mindbodygreen.com).
The participants were trained in mindfulness meditation, and practiced it for approximately 27 minutes a day. The results of the study were startling. Not only did the participants report increased mindfulness, but the MRI images (taken both before and after the study) showed increased gray matter concentration in 4 brain regions. These regions are responsible for “learning and memory, emotion regulation, sense of self, and perspective taking” (Mindbodygreen.com).
This study showed that meditation not only just makes us feel better; it truly makes you be better.
With practice, meditation has numerous benefits including dissolving fuzzy brain. Scientific fact. But, how?
Most people automatically assume they are unable to meditate because they are so stressed and unable to focus. It is really easier than one might think.
There are numerous resources available for meditation practice. Many are free, as well. One of the easiest ways to find some that are readily accessible is on your smart phone. Search the Play Store or the Apple App Store to find them.
Some I’ve used for the Android platform are Calm and Headspace. I found them both very helpful.
Another good resource is YouTube; accessible on your phone or computer. Check out this website for several guided meditations. http://www.mindfulmuscle.com/5-top-guided-meditations/
If you like to listen to Podcasts, here is another resource. http://www.meditationoasis.com/podcast/
The number one tip I have for successfully practicing meditation is to find a quiet place and turn off all distractions. It doesn’t have to be for a long time; just a few minutes is helpful. To see long term benefits, practice regularly.
Goodbye fuzzy brain; hello mindfulness!
Amy Wallace is the founder and creator of Intensify Your Life. She lives in a small town in Tennessee with her 18 year old daughter, a dog, and a cat. Writing is just one of her passions.