Have you ever been stuck on a problem you can’t crack the code on?
But after a good nights sleep you solve it with ease?
What’s going on here?
Well, you gave your brain some breathing room.
With this mental space, it was able to sift through information in your unconscious mind and piece together a solution.
Sounds pretty crazy.
But it turns out there’s real research behind this.
The best part is you don’t even need to go to bed to make this happen.
Another quick and easy way to give your brain this breathing room on demand is by meditating.
Meditating essentially allows your brain to step back, look at the big picture, zoom in and connect key pieces of information tucked away in opposite corners of your mind.
The exact study that put meditation to the test was conducted by a research group in Michigan State University.
The researchers took more than 200 participants to see how meditation affected their ability to detect and respond to errors.
They found that just 20 minutes of meditation improved the participants’ ability to perform to solve problems with little to no errors. [R]
Okay, before we go any further, we need to define “meditation”.
What does it really mean to meditate? What does it look like?
The problem is everyone who meditates will give you a different answer.
That’s partly why meditation is such a disputed topic.
Meditation has been around for thousands of years, so it has had time to take on countless different forms.
For now, we don’t need to worry about understanding all the possible forms of meditation.
The specific form of meditation that this study tested was “open meditation.”
While some forms of meditation ask you to focus on a single object (such as your breath), open meditation is simply about allowing your mind to wander and indulging whatever thoughts come.
Basically, it’s just sitting there and doing nothing.
Can you take a break from life for 20 minutes a day?
Without giving into the things that usually bombard your attention?
Give it a try.
Set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes and close your eyes.
Don’t worry about “emptying” your mind or focusing on anything. Just let your mind wander and observe your thoughts.
You don’t need to think about the time. Remind yourself that when 20 minutes are up, the timer will go off.
When the timer does go off and you open your eyes, you should feel refreshed.
Make this a consistent practice, and a life of increased mental capacity and focus awaits.