Small doses of meditation daily significantly improves concentration and performance.
According to neuroscientist Amishi Jha, “meditation is an active and effortful process that literally changes the way the brain works.” A study was done to examine how meditation changes our: ability to prioritize (tasks & goals), ability to voluntarily focus (on specific information), and our ability to remain alert in our environment.
In this Pennsylvania study, a group of subjects was split into 2 categories. The first group of subjects was new to “mindfulness meditation,” while the second group was experienced in the practice. During the study, the second group attended a rigorous 1 month meditation retreat. The first group did not attend, but they did meditate.
Research results showed that even the group that was new to the “mindful meditation” significantly improved their overall task-performance and ability to focus. This study also showed that after only a few weeks of practicing meditation, the meditaton created drastic positive change within the meditator’s brains. This study is set to be published in the journal “Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience” to imply that the meditation practice is a new non-medical means for improving focus, cognition, and overall learning ability.
How were the results of the study determined?
Study participants performed certain tasks at a computer which measured their accuracy and speed. The first group of participants (new to meditation) had leaps of improvement in their abilities to quickly process information and to “focus their attention.” This is an awesome finding, I knew that meditation produced significant positive changes! The second group of participants (which attended the meditation retreat) showed enhanced ability to demonstrate functioning skills, voluntary focus, and managed to prioritize their goals extremely well. After the month retreat, participants improved their ability to keep their attention “ready.”
This study suggests that as little as 30 minutes of meditation daily can improve attention and focus for everyone, especially those who are extremely busy & active. The meditation practice may not feel restful or even relaxing, but the attention-performance improvement that comes from the practice may greatly improve your life. My advice to you: try a meditation routine.
References: University of Pennsylvania. “Meditate To Concentrate.” ScienceDaily 26 June 2007. 13 January 2008 <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2007/06/070625193240.htm>.