Article by Samantha Srillian
Neuroscientist Dr Shanida Nataraja has just published The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation, a thought-provoking science book that proves meditation can improve your concentration, memory and decision-making skills.Dr Nataraja was first exposed to meditation by her parents, who meditated regularly. She explains: “I was raised in a family where meditation was a central part of life. My father is Indian, from a Hindu background, and my mother is Dutch and Catholic.” However, it wasn’t until she became a research scientist that she decided to investigate whether her parent’s activity actually worked. Dr Nataraja was surprised at the findings of her studies, she said: “I really didn’t expect to find that meditation plays such a role in optimising brain function and health, from cognitive abilities to cardiovascular wellbeing.” She found that meditation was beneficial to the brain because it boosted brain integration. Dr Nataraja believes brain integration is important, as she thinks that westerners use the left halves of their brains too much. She explains, “Generally speaking, the left hemisphere is associated with analytical, rational and logical processing, whereas the right hemisphere is associated with abstract thought, non-verbal awareness, visual-spatial perception and the expression and modulation of emotions. In the western world, most individuals navigate through their everyday life in a fashion dominated by left-brained thinking.” Relying too heavily on the left hand side of the brain can cause people to think too much, while not feeling enough. This can cause stress and anxiety, as well as making people feel overwhelmed. Dr Nataraja’s research used galvanic skin response meters to monitor emotional changes through the skin and electroencephalograms (EEGs), which measured the amount of electrical activity that was being produced by the brain. Her work demonstrated that entering a meditative state could bring a feeling of calmness, prompted by a much- needed increase in use of the right side of the brain. Her studies also showed an increased level of alpha brain wave activity, which indicated that meditation also activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This activation of this nervous system is important as it lowers stress levels, which decreases pressure on your heart.Although she proves that there are numerous health benefits offered by meditation, Dr Nataraja also realises that it can be difficult to reach the meditative state in today’s busy world. However, she advises people to take a 15-minute break at the start and finish of every day for quiet reflection, which has a calming effect and can help to relieve some of the pressure of modern life.Dr Nataraja champions a number of alternative therapy methods to reach the meditative state. She said: “I also do yoga two or three times a week; it took me a long time to find a type of meditation that suited me. I’ve tried tai chi, chi gung and other approaches, but yoga really works for me with its very specific point of mindful focus on the postures.”Source:Guardian
About the Author
Samantha Srillian is a freelance writer, as well as a naturally gifted psychic medium and tarot card reader. She is interested in alternative therapies, angels and spiritual healing.
Left Hand Crochet – How to Crochet a CupCake Hat
CupCake Hat Written Instructions crochet-mania.blogspot.com Crochet Blog crochet-mania.blogspot.com
Video Rating: 4 / 5