Meditation has many benefits and is part of many yoga practices including https://www.julianalucky.com/post/9-ways-to-practice-mindfulness-with-kids. In this article, we will take a closer look at the connection between meditation practices and our attention. Can meditation help you develop concentration? Does it have any visible effect on attention deficit disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
Five large-scale studies have detailed the link between meditation and attentional activity in the brain’s frontal lobe. As a result, we came to the following conclusions:
1. Those who practice meditation are one step ahead of those who do not.
In a 1999 study, three groups of subjects were given the same task that required concentration and mindfulness over a long period of time. The test was a game of points.
The members of the first group were meditators for a long time, the second – those who started meditating not so long ago, the third – those who have never practiced. The subjects of the first two groups coped with the tasks better than the participants of the last group, and the meditators for a long time showed the best results.
The researchers made a preliminary conclusion that the practice of meditation promotes the development of concentration, allows you to work on one task for a longer time without distraction. Moreover, such benefits of meditation only multiply with regular and prolonged practice.
2. Meditation improves concentration in those who have previously had difficulty with mindfulness tasks.
In the 2010 experiment, all participants were also divided into 3 groups:
1) practicing mindfulness techniques, including meditation;
2) practicing muscle relaxation techniques;
3) not practicing anything.
All three groups were given two mindfulness tasks, one at the beginning of the month and one at the end. During this month, the subjects continued to practice their usual practices, or, in the case of the third group, did nothing. According to the test results at the end of the month, the participants in the first group performed better than the other two, and even improved their performance compared to the beginning of the month.
However, the researchers noticed that if you stop meditating, your concentration level also decreases, which means you need to practice regularly in order to maintain and increase the benefits obtained.
3. Meditation is a recommended adjunct to the treatment of adolescents and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Several studies, including the most recent one from 2017, showed that ADHD sufferers undergoing medication, as well as additionally practicing meditation and other mindfulness techniques under the guidance of a specialist, noted relief of ADHD symptoms and improved ability to manage them.
4. Meditation also helps children
In a 1996 study, a group of children between 8 and 11 years old were explained how to do Transcendental Meditation. Then a mindfulness test was performed. The practitioners showed a higher ability to control their attention compared to the control group of their peers.
It is also known that meditation and mindfulness teach children to calm down, reflect, and help develop consciousness when solving various behavioral problems, such as managing anger, resolving conflicts.
5. Meditation Eases Symptoms of Other Mental Illness
A 2010 study looked at the effect of meditation on depressed patients who saw as one of their problems the inability to maintain attention and focus on one task or incoming information.
This research, like several in the past, has shown that meditation does indeed have a positive effect on symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems.
Thus, meditation and other contemplative practices greatly affect the way our brain stores and processes information. These techniques help reduce stress, improve flexibility in responding to change, and promote concentration without shifting attention for extended periods of time. None of these studies suggest meditation is the only remedy for serious illness, but when combined with medication and therapy, the practice can bring many benefits.