Nondirective meditation and memory

In case you missed it, a recent study published in the neuroscience journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience links meditation to an increased function of the brain’s ability to process emotions and memories.
The meditation studied is classified as nondirective meditation. This differs from other traditional types of meditation, in this study called concentrative meditation. For those who don’t know, let’s define each:

Nondirective meditation

Nondirective meditation is classified as meditation where the participant uses sounds, such as a peaceful rainfall or even the sound of their own breathing to achieve a meditative state. The mind is then free to explore.

Concentrative meditation

Concentrative meditation, on the other hand, is meditation that is intended to suppress all other thoughts EXCEPT for exactly what’s being focused on – i.e., the soothing sound or breaths of the participant. It’s no surprise that nondirective meditation leads to increased brain activity during meditation. When only levels of brain activity were evaluated, there isn’t much difference between concentrative meditation and simply resting your mind. This is nothing to say about the benefits of either type of meditation, as both have their merits and benefits to all those who meditate, regardless of their style.

As part of the study, 14 participants were evaluated using MRI scans during both nondirective and concentrative meditation sessions. During the nondirective sessions, researchers found an increased level of activity in the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain – you guessed it, the part of the brain that processes emotions and memories.

So, what does this activity mean? The activity when resting suggests that it is more efficient in performing the tasks that do not necessarily require our attention.

Regardless of your preferred method or purpose for meditating, Catizone Omni Meditation benches are there to make your meditation sessions as comfortable as possible. Please visit our products page for your handmade meditation bench for more information.

It’s been a pursuit among countless philosophers, scholars, authors, leaders and the common man, probably since man has been able to recognize emotions. How to find happiness seems to be the key to everything in life. We disguise our pursuit of happiness sometimes with material goods, false goals or other things we think makes us happy.

But what really helps? Lately there have been books and movies, and even a top 40 song that tries to explain and spread happiness. But in our simple and humble blog, we’d like to spread just a few pointers that we’ve learned so you can live happily, too.

Surround yourself with positivity. Look at your social circle, either in your personal life or at work: do you surround yourself with people that are uplifting, or are you friends with people that are cynical? If it’s the latter, make a change. One of the best ways to have an instant happiness pick-me-up is to surround yourself with positivity. Positive friends will also serve as a support group that can help you find happiness as well.

Look at the bright side of things. There are ALWAYS two sides to look at an issue. It can be something as simple as changing your thoughts from “I got a speeding ticket today” to “I’m really happy that I was reminded not to speed, that habit could have put me in danger one day.” It might be tough to do at first, but always be looking for the upside of things.

Strike up a friendly conversation with a stranger. A pleasant conversation always brightens someone’s day. In today’s world of using electronic mediums to communicate, people appreciate human contact. Be that contact.

Meditate. Of course we’re going to suggest this! Meditation can help you lower stress and anxiety, two huge roadblocks in the road to find happiness. Meditation can also keep your life in focus, and regain perspective.
Realize that nothing is forever. Remember, if you’re having a bad day, week, or month, then you’re JUST having a bad day, week, or month. Every minute that you’re not happy is one minute closer until when you will find happiness again.

Of course, this just scratches the surface, but remember to grow and expand within this list. Soon, you’ll be able to appreciate a happier, more fulfilling life.