What Happens to your Brain During Meditation?

Welcome to Spring. Finally… as we change seasons it is a good time to reflect on new beginnings, new intentions and how we want to spend our time. Are we making the best use of our time nurturing our body and mind? How can we train our mind and body together to be present in each moment to keep ourselves safe and at peace.

One of the most important aspects of the martial arts is focusing in on our ability to develop our internal self control to prepare us for moments where we may experience a loss of control.

In this Spring SAFE Spotlight, I will be talking about meditation and the martial arts. So what exactly is happening during meditation in your brain? Neurotransmitters and endorphins are released, oxygen in your body is increased to improve your brain health. In laymens terms the hormones released, one of which is oxytocin, during meditation are making you smarter, more focused and is developing your inner strength so you will be better prepare to face whatever challenges come your way.

Stop Yield SignLet’s take a moment to think about how much time we spend today texting, googling, checking facebook, instagram, shopping on line or running from event to event. NOW it’s time to take a deep breath. NOW. Right now. In through your nose for a count of 1,2,3 and out through your mouth, 1,2,3,4 and look within spending some well deserved time communicating and restoring ourselves. If you notice the first four letters in restoring is “rest.” If our body does not have enough time to rest we cannot be fully alert in body and mind and we will not be properly prepared to face whatever may come our way.

According to brain health studies during meditation the frontal lobe of our brain, the part responsible for reasoning tends to go “off line” allowing our minds mental “chatter” to stop;  sensory activity in this part of the brain shuts down. During meditation the arousal signal is reduced and we are less likely to be provoked by trivial issues. When mindfulness is practiced daily our brain develops new gray matter. Similarly in the martial arts repetition matters. The more you practice, muscle memory develops and the body knows what to do when provoked.

The concept of “neuroplasticity”  kicks in “use it or lose it.” Studies have shown when your body learns new concepts such as new self defense moves, new neural networks are being developed. The more you practice meditation and the martial arts you will train your body to become smarter, faster, stronger on th inside and out! So keep training and start meditating!!

Neuroplasticity

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