Do you meditate and if so WHY?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance

Good morning everyone. This article was sent to me in an e-mail and I thought it was pretty interesting and thought I would share it. Do any of you meditate and if you do what are your thoughts on this?

Since I deal with widespread chronic pain I thought I might try it. Nothing ventured nothing gained they say. I do have one friend that I know  Jon Kolsky that mediates and I would be curious to know why you do and what it does for you.

Meditation’s Effects on Alpha Brain Waves

A new study out of Brown University has found that a form of mindfulness meditation known as MBSR may act as a "volume knob" for attention, changing brain wave patterns. 

What is MBSR?

Originally developed by a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) is based on mindfulness meditation techniques that have been practiced in some form or another for over two millennia.

The 8-week MBSR program still follows some of the same principles of the original Buddhist practice, training followers to focus a "spotlight of attention" on different parts of their body. Eventually, it is hoped, practitioners learn to develop the same awareness of their mental states.

In the last 20 years, MBSR and a similar practice called mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) have been included in an increasing number of healthcare plans in the developed world. Some studies have shown that these practices can reduce distress in individuals with chronic pain and decrease risk of relapses into depression.

In this study, Brown University researchers wanted to investigate whether MBSR could have a broader application beyond the clinical realm. Could MBSR impact the alpha brain waves that help filter and organize sensory inputs, improving attentional control?

Study design

Researchers divided the study’s 12 healthy adult participants into two groups: a test group that underwent MBSR training for 8 weeks, and a control group that did not. After 8 weeks, a brain imaging technique known as magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to measure alpha wave patterns in participants.

While hooked up to the brain scanning equipment, participants felt taps on their hands and feet at random intervals. On average, those who trained with MBSR demonstrated faster and greater alpha wave changes in response to these taps. These alpha wave surges indicated that participants were better able to quickly focus attention on the relevant body parts.

 

How alpha waves affect cognition

Alpha rhythms help filter irrelevant sensory inputs in the brain. Without proper filtering, the ability to carry out many basic cognitive operations can be crippled.

Imagine the simple task of backing a car out of the driveway. In order to reach the street safely, you must hold your destination in mind while steering and ignoring distractions from every modality: news on the radio, children playing at the end of the block, an itch on your foot, the glare of the sun in your eyes.

Most people filter out these distractions subconsciously — but should irrelevant stimuli distract you, backing out can become a difficult ordeal. This Brown University study is in line with other research on meditation, confirming previous findings that link enhanced attentional performance and fewer errors in tests of visual attention with meditation.

While it’s still too early to declare meditation a cure-all for everything from attentional control to chronic pain, it’ll be fascinating to see what future research uncovers about this millennia-old tradition’s impact on the brain.

 

 

Posted by

Sharon Lee

Comments (36)

Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

LOL Debb-I hope I never get that focused. That would not be a good thing to run into a tree or off a trail. It doesn't surprise me that you meditate. Probably where your inner peace comes from

Jan 22, 2015 02:27 AM
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Sharon Lee ~ OK...... "YOU" rock! I can't tell you "enough" how much I la la la LOVE this post.... My smile does not get any bigger! I also love the comments too! So here I go with my two cents... I don't know "if" it is the cure to all, but I do know meditation changed my life immensely... I feel connected & closer to all things as well as I feel happier & healthier... I meditate once a week with a group in the OC... I really enjoy watching the group grow as well as hearing others in the group talk about how mediation makes them feel better.

I could go on forever about the many benefits I have gotten from meditating, but bottom line "it's a personal and spirital thing all wraped up into one

Jan 22, 2015 02:34 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Jon Kolsky-Thank you for the wonderful comment. I immediately thought of you when I read the article because you saying you did. With this glowing report from you as well as the others that weighed in on it then I am going to give it a try myself. I figured it was personal and spiritual.  It is funny as I read your comment I am imagining your big smile.

Jan 22, 2015 02:48 AM
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

I started years ago after a car accident left me in very intense back and neck pain.  It helped tremendously and It has for years.  

Jan 22, 2015 08:02 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Toni=Thank you that is the best news I could ever hear.

Jan 22, 2015 08:13 AM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Sharon. I need to do more research on this. Thank you for the article as, once again, I learned something new here in the 'Rain.

Jan 22, 2015 06:00 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Good morning MichaelYou are most welcome. I will be doing research as well, especially after what Toni said,

Jan 22, 2015 07:17 PM
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

I don't.  But, Chief Cook does.  It seems rather odd to sit motionless for so long with no thoughts going through your head.  But, whatever works!

Jan 22, 2015 10:37 PM
Gloria Todor
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Newtown Square, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Hi Sharon, Sorry to hear you are dealing with chronic pain.  I like your attitude of "nothing ventured nothing gained".  

I value sitting in silence with others and meditating alone. For me it is a time to be in the moment, a time to take a step back from the external world and the inner chatterbox in my mind. A time to get out of my head and be in my inner core.  A time to calm down.  I've sat in silence with Quakers and studied a bit under a Buddhist monk. Not having suffered chronic physical pain, but more emotional pain, I found/find silence/meditation very healing/comforting and invaluable. 

All the best with this Sharon!

G

Jan 25, 2015 09:51 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Thank you Gloria-I have dealt with chronic pain fot years and it had been much better until I broke my toe and for whatever reason the pain has increased tenfold and I don't understand it

Jan 25, 2015 10:50 AM
Gloria Todor
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Newtown Square, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Sorry to hear that Sharon.  That is hard. It is like the balance was upset with this borken toe. Gosh so many people deal with chronic pain in silence. Doug suffers with chronic back pain.  May you get it under control soon Sharon.

Jan 27, 2015 02:31 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Gloria-Sorry to hear that Doug does, It sure upset it somehow. I just wish it would reverse itsrlf and be better but after 2.5 months it hasn't. Thank you for your kindness

Jan 27, 2015 05:07 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I don't meditate....I did try it years ago and found my mind just wandered too much.

Jan 29, 2015 12:02 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Sharon-It is a bit of a challenge especially when I have a kitty that likes to pester me when I am sitting,

Jan 29, 2015 12:24 AM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Sharon ... VB use to meditate many years ago real heavy, haven't had the patience lately to meditate but I enjoy and it calms my spirit 

Jan 29, 2015 06:42 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Bob-Sounds like you need to take it up again,

Jan 29, 2015 07:15 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Not in the traditional sense I don't. BUT, I find my own zen when looking at the water on my lake.  It's my peaceful place and in moments of stress and I can magically get that water serenity zen.

Feb 01, 2015 03:26 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Tammy-Me either right now but I have been trying each morning to read verses in these books I bought years ago Moments of Peace for your morning and evening. Then I close my eyes when I am done reading and try to sit there and have no thoughts enter my mind. I can see why doing what you do would give you than zen feeling. I had that when I visited Gayle in Fishhawk

Feb 01, 2015 03:30 AM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Hi, Sharon...I don't meditate, but I'm curious if you started doing it and if so how it might be working for you. 

Dec 27, 2015 12:24 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Debbie Laity Like anything else I start out with good intentions but then it falls by the wayside, Maybe I can start again the New Year

Dec 27, 2015 12:36 AM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?