"When neurons fire together, they wire together... what flows through your mind sculpts your brain." - Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
How does meditation actually “train” the brain?
The mechanism behind meditation’s transformative potential is called self-directed neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is science’s term for the brain changing structure and function as it adapts and learns.
And the “self-directed” piece refers to your ability to intentionally shape your brain by using it in a specific way during meditation.
You are using the mind to change the brain, like a child crafting a Playdough structure. It’s empowering to know that you are in control of your own mental fitness.
You know those people who just seem naturally attentive, happy and full of energy? We all have access to this way of being. Your mind is not a fixed entity.
The Brain of an Olympic Meditator
And indeed scientists have found that experienced meditators’ brains look different. They exhibit an enlarged prefrontal cortex (responsible for rational decision-making), smaller amygdala (the fear center of the brain), thicker hippocampus (key for learning and memory), and overall increased grey matter (brain cell bodies important for processing power and linked to intelligence).
Since the brain creates about 10,000 new neurons per day and is constantly rearranging its neural connections, it becomes essential that we shape it in ways that improve our wellbeing.
This re-wiring doesn’t happen overnight, of course, but you can start the process with as little as 5 minutes per day, which has been shown to create epigenetic changes in the brain.
We created the FitMind meditation app to deliver a systematic and scientific process of self-directed neuroplasticity. It’s the same method taught by FitMind at Fortune 500 companies like Uber, schools and government organizations, delivered right in your pocket.
What few people realize is that with the right training we can all sculpt our minds, which determine our entire perception of the world in each moment. FitMind consulted neuroscientists and monks alike (see guests on the FitMind Podcast) in creating a program that teaches 25+ meditation techniques in a progressively challenging series of beginner to advanced methods.