You probably know people in your life who practice meditation . There is a sense of calm, self-awareness and compassion about them, as if they go through life floating on a cloud of comfort , far above the tornado of anxiety that most of us feel.

It’s easy to be upset by them, but only because you secretly wish you could adopt this same state of mind. It may seem hard to believe to your skeptical self, especially when you have enough anxiety to push yourself to the limit, but meditation can change an anxious brain .

It helps people with anxiety to get better with negative thoughts and to tolerate them better , letting them go out of the mind naturally. This helps develop mental resilience and ultimately control anxiety. And, with regular practice, meditation can reconnect your mind. It looks like magic, right? But in reality, it only takes perseverance and wanting this change to improve almost without realizing it with the passage of time .

What is really going on in the brain?

Meditation has a calming effect on the brain, reducing hyperarousal in areas like the amygdala , which is associated with fear, threat, and trauma. Kindness-based meditations change the way perceptual systems make sense of reality. Reduced fear- based responses and greater mental control of cognitive processes allow people to process information with greater precision.

Different types of meditation alter eight specific brain regions in people who regularly meditate . These include areas related to meta-awareness, body awareness, memory processing, the regulation of emotions in personal and social situations, and better communication between the left and right sides of the brain.

The way that mindfulness meditation exerts its effects is through an enhanced self-regulation process, which includes attention control, emotion regulation, and self-awareness. There are different types of meditation and each person will have to choose the one that best suits them . Regular meditation changes aspects of how the brain works. It affects different aspects of the brain and the way they communicate, so there is better internal control, thus being able to modulate internal management.

When are the effects established?

The meditation can be considered a type of brain training , and therefore requires regular practice to see noticeable changes. However, most people notice a difference immediately, although this may be due to a relaxation response rather than lasting changes in brain activity.

Some people also feel that meditation stirs up unpleasant feelings , often if there is an unaddressed trauma, which people cope with by being distracted and never being alone with their thoughts .

For long-term changes, it takes about eight weeks for the amygdala to calm down and produce differences in key areas of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, the insula, the cingulate cortex, and the hippocampus. Generally, continuous practice is required to maintain and deepen the benefits , just like anything else. In some cases, meditation seems to result in permanent changes in behavior, especially compassion-based meditations , which can change a person’s fundamental perspective, as the practice is integrated into the personality and way of life, which requires less daily practice.

Making the most of meditation

By setting achievable goals and moving forward at a realistic pace, meditation can easily become a regular habit. If you want to start but don’t know how to do it, then follow these tips because you can change your life and in 8 weeks you can be someone else. You will understand life from other perspectives and you will feel better in all areas . Do not lose detail:

    • Start small . Although it may seem attractive to meditate for 30 minutes twice a day, in reality, it is more feasible to start with five-minute sessions, once or twice a day, a few days a week. If you want to set yourself up for success and establish the routine, you must build on a solid foundation. If you start too hard, you will quit before you know it or begin to notice the effects, mistakenly believing that meditation does not do you any good.
    • Reserve a quiet and safe space . While you can meditate anywhere, many people find it helpful to have a specific space set up just for that purpose. An additional benefit is that you will condition yourself to the desired state of mind just by being in that place, strengthening the routine .
    • Focus on your breathing . One of the easiest ways to start meditating is by focusing on your breath. Notice where it is strongest: through the nose or raising and lowering the chest. If your mind wanders, what you will do is try to refocus on your breathing and breathe deeply. Paying attention to your breathing helps create space between your thoughts and the distance from their intensity. Breathing will calm you down almost without you noticing it and when you do it as a routine, in moments of tension you will do it almost automatically to find tranquility instantly.
  • Start with a guided experience . For those who have just started meditating, calming the mind can be difficult – thoughts can flow like a doomsday playlist. If this happens to you, you can download an app on your phone to start a guided experience. On YouTube you also have many guided meditation videos that can help you get started. You can find guided meditations to help you with everything you need at any given time, from anxiety and stress to more specific problems such as self-esteem and sadness, all to the tune of a guide who will guide you every step of the way. 

Creating calm is the best kind of rest for your brain and with practice you will feel your brain change for the better just without realizing it. Life can be so much easier!

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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