In the image below you can see the impact of just one 20-minute meditation session on your brain.
On the left there is lots of beta-wave activity, marked by the bright pinks and yellows, which indicates that the brain is actively processing information. But this activity is dramatically reduced on the right as the brain slows down and relaxes.
The summary below explains why calming your brain is so powerful and how different parts of your brain respond to meditation. It is a little technical but makes fascinating reading.
This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-conscious awareness. During meditation, the frontal cortex tends to go offline.
This part of the brain processes sensory information about the surrounding world, orienting you in time and space. During meditation, activity in the parietal lobe slows down.
The gatekeeper for the senses, this organ focuses your attention by funneling some sensory data deeper into the brain and stopping other signals in their tracks. Meditation reduces the flow of incoming information to a trickle.
As the brain’s sentry, this structure receives incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert, ready to respond. Meditating dials back the arousal signal.
In brief, by relaxing the brain through meditation you reduce external stimuli and create mental space for new ideas, intuition, inspiration and creativity to emerge. This can help you rewire your brain for success by encouraging more positive, empowering thoughts.
But in addition to helping you mold your brain to be more successful, there are also a ton of health benefits – physical, emotional and mental that can be gained from regular meditation.