How Meditation Changes the Brain

Keeping your mind sharp is especially important as you age. We’d like to share how mediation can be an effective tool for improving your brain health. As you might know, meditation is the practice of focusing your mind, often with the goal of increasing your awareness. Mindfulness meditation is one of the most common techniques. With regards to brain health, mindfulness meditation:

  • Supports learning and memory by increasing cortical thickness in the hippocampus.

  • Regulates your stress response. Meditation has been linked to lower levels of an inflammatory stress marker (IL-6) and improvements to a relevant region of the brain (left dlPFC).

  • Improves focus and concentration. Studies have found that experienced meditators have a deactivated default mode network (DMN), the part of the brain responsible for wandering thoughts.

  • May protect your brain from age-related atrophy. Promising research has found that consistent meditators tend to have better preserved gray and white matter in the brain than non-meditators.

Try a guided meditation app like Ten Percent Happier or Headspace, two of our favorites which each have a variety of exercises.