There are many ways to boost your cognitive abilities and brainpower – mindful meditation is one of the most accessible. It aids blood flow to the brain and increases memory and executive functioning. You need not buy materials, attend classes, or be an expert to benefit from using mindfulness as a daily brain-boosting practice. Here’s how to do just that.
You can practice mindful meditation anywhere, but select a quiet place where no one will disturb you if you are a beginner. You’ll find the environment less challenging while you get used to meditating.
Likewise, you can practice mindful meditation during any activity. The common practice of following your breath will help while you’re learning how to meditate, though.
Sit in a comfortable position, in a chair, on the floor, or with your legs crossed in a traditional meditation pose, and close your eyes. Or, you can lie on your bed if it’s more comfortable.
Follow your breath
Notice your breath as you inhale and exhale, paying attention to the air entering and leaving your body. Note its journey as it enters your nostrils and flows to your lungs. Feel the sensation of the air on your skin and its temperature. Listen to your breathing, too, and recognize the length of each breath without clock-watching or counting.
If your thoughts stray, gather them back to the exercise. Return your attention to breathing. Occasionally, your attention might move inward, into your mind, and you’ll attend less to your breath. It’s okay to rest your awareness in your mind as you let images or sensations stream. Just come back to your breath if thoughts stem from reflections on past or future events.
While you practice mindful meditation, aim to stay in the present. The current moment can be peaceful and expansive, offering a break from your cares. As stress leaves, you will experience relaxation and rewire your brain to increase focus, memory, and compassion.
After practicing mindful meditation, you will gain the confidence to use it in many ways, even engaging in it as you wash the dishes, take a shower, or weed the garden. It won’t steal your time or cost you money, and it can improve your brain and help you relax.
Reference: mindful.org/simple-meditation-improves-brain-function/, (benefits).