Meditation helps with many things: it can help you destress, become more self-aware, and even reduce your sensation of pain. And a new study has found yet another benefit: meditation helps you tune out distractions even when you aren't in the midst of a mediation itself.
The study, published in the Brain Research Bulletin, looked at 12 adults, some of whom took an eight-week class training in stressed-reducing meditation (the rest were the control group and did not take the meditation class) and found that alpha wave changes in the brains of those who meditated were more pronounced than those who didn't. Since our brains use alpha waves when we concentrate, researchers believe people who meditate may be more skilled at being able to tune out background distractions and focus on a task, whether it's reading a book on the bus or finishing a project at work while your co-worker has an animated phone conversation nearby.
Ready for meditation to help save you from all those daily distractions? Keep reading for tips on how to build your meditation skills after the break.
It can be hard to regularly practice meditation, since thoughts ranging from your daily to-do list to what's for dinner can keep your mind wandering. The good news is that the more you do it, the better you get at easing your mind and allowing yourself to let go. I'm guilty of always thinking of anything and everything when trying to meditate, but here are some tips I've found that have been helpful for building a meditation practice.
- Wake up relaxed. Incorporating a relaxing routine as soon as you wake up in the morning can further help your mind let go. If you go from slamming your alarm clock to jumping in a shower or swigging coffee, try leaving time to just relax before you go on with your day to encourage a meditative mindset.
- Start small. Tell yourself to just focus on all aspects of your breath, from how it sounds to how it feels, and allow your mind to wander if needed. If you spend five or 10 minutes a day doing this you may notice that it gets easier to block out thoughts as you go on.
- Be inspired by yoga class. Sometimes all it takes is a little gentle coaching, so if you find yourself being able to meditate better during a pose or Savasana in class, think about your teacher's suggestions or incorporate a favorite pose into your own at-home meditation to get you started.