New Hope for Tired Brains
photo via Flickr
Until recently, neurologists believed that a person's brain stopped physically developing when they were 25 to 35 years old. But a growing body of research points to the possibility of lifelong neuroplasticity — the ability of the brain to adapt to new input — and a 2011 Massachusetts General Hospital study found that those who meditate regularly for as little as eight weeks changed the very structure of their brains.
MRI scans showed that by meditating daily for an average of 27 minutes, participants increased the density of the gray matter (which holds most of our brain cells) in an area that is essential for focus, memory, and compassion. Previous research had already shown that monks who had spent more than 10,000 hours in meditation had extraordinary growth and activity in this part of the brain. It's now clear that even relative beginners at mindfulness can quickly rewire their brains in a positive way.
— Source: Frances Weaver, The Week