Meditation is believed to help reduce anxiety and stress, and improve emotional well-being. But, what happens in the brain during meditation? Is Different techniques have different effects? Scientific research has found the answer.
There are many methods of meditation; mindfulness, mantra, and guided meditation instructor. But according to the study's researchers, including Svend Davanger, a neuroscientist at the University of Oslo in Norway, all of the techniques that can be put into one of two groups and nondirective meditation is concentrative.
The researchers defined, concentrative meditation as a technique that focuses on breathing or certain thoughts, which in turn, blocking other thoughts.
Nondirective meditation is described as a method that focuses on breathing or on a sound meditation. But during this exercise, the mind can wander. The research team noted that some modern meditation techniques tend to fit into this category.
For their study, recently published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, the researchers evaluated 14 participants who are highly experienced in Acem meditation (meditation techniques that are included in nondirective meditation), but they are also used to make meditation concentrative.
All participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) when they are at rest. Later, some participants were asked to do nondirective meditation techniques and some of them do concentrative meditation techniques.
The scientists found that when participants practice meditation nondirective, they have a higher brain activity in areas associated with the processing of thoughts and feelings, rather than when they are resting.
But when the subject of concentrative meditation practice, their brain activity looks very relaxed, almost the same as when they are at rest.
According Davanger, these findings suggest that meditation nondirective "provides more room in the brain for processing memories and emotions than during mediation concentrated."
But he also added, "The brain has the highest activity when we rest. It is a sort of basic operating system, network break took over the role when the external task does not require our attention."