MIT on Meditation: Since the dawn of mankind, meditation has been as essential to human behavior as eating and speaking. It is such an ancient technique in fact; that many believe, man’s primordial need to focus attention inwardly, “may have contributed to the final phases of human biological” evolution and is intimately bound to the physical progress of our ancestors.
Meditation is so widespread culturally and religiously, that it is a global behavior. Its incarnations are found among the traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Taoism, to name a few.
On a different note, it’s no secret that the students at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), are among the brightest in the world. According to a 2011 Best Colleges ranking, “Massachusetts Institute of Technology”…received a ranking of “7” overall, although I’m not personally dying to get into a university where the guy to girl ratio is “55% male / 45% female.”
So when a team of MIT and Harvard neuroscientists did a 2011 study on meditation; I was pretty curious to see the results:
The study revealed that meditators (as opposed to non-meditators), had greater activity in terms of brain waves named “alpha rhythms.” This correlates with a 1966 finding, that “Buddhist monks who meditated regularly had elevated alpha rhythms”, as well.
But what do these “alpha rhythms” signify?
According to the study, “alpha rhythms” are understood to be a display of the brain minimizing distractions.
The implications of this finding are both lofty and yet, still practical:
If you want to perform better at work and stay in tune throughout the day, a half-hour meditation period in the morning, will make “you better at focusing”. This increased capability and concentration, will not only increase your sharpness and productivity at work, but will also allow you to more aptly read a book while on a busy subway. In addition, the researchers found that meditation will reduce stress; as opposed to coffee or 5 hour energy.
The “ability to cultivate an internal awareness”, will make your external world much more vibrant, focused and fascinating.
Jesse Braunstein is a Junior at NYU double majoring in Economics and Psychology. Jesse joined Madison Technology and SheBytes.com in May 2011 as a summer intern. Jesse has been instrumental in utilizing his expanding background to come up with creative perspectives on the Marketing, Advertising and Business Development initiatives at both Madison Technology and SheBytes.com. Jesse’s outlook stems from an Economics and Psychology education and a deep understanding of the individual and how the individual acts within and interacts with the market. Follow Jesse on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his About.me.