It has been well documented that meditation improves mindfulness which is an increase in present moment awareness. We become more clearly conscious of the stimuli in our immediate environment. So, meditation helps us focus our attention on the sensations of the moment.
But does meditation improve our awareness of our own actions? People are frequently not aware of their own movements even after having been specifically trained to pay attention to them and people often initiate voluntary movements while their mind is wandering elsewhere. Can meditation training help to make us more in tune with our own movements and activities?
In today’s Research News article, “Do meditators have higher awareness of their intentions to act?”
brain activity is monitored in association with voluntary movements. It is shown that meditators have a more consistent association between the activity of their brain signaling intention to act and awareness of that intention. This clever method demonstrates that meditators are more consciously in touch with their intentions and actions than non-meditators. In other words, the mindfulness produced by meditation extends to improving awareness of how we are interacting with our world.
It has been repeated shown that meditation can reshape the nervous system. It can result in increased size and connectivity of areas associated with on-task awareness and behavior while reducing the size and connectivity of areas responsible for off-task mind wandering. It appears that this reshaping of the brain extends to the monitoring of intentions and voluntary actions.
This is very powerful. We often engage in life without ever being aware of what we’re doing. Our minds are elsewhere, totally caught up in thoughts that are unassociated with what we’re currently doing. Meditation can help to overcome this and increase our real time awareness of our environment, thoughts, and actions. No wonder that meditation has such profound effects on virtually every aspect of people’s minds and bodies.
Meditation can help us to lead mindful lives. It can help us overcome our preoccupations with our past and future and make us more tuned into what is going on and what we’re doing in the present moment. It can help us break out of our sleep walking through existence and to lead lives in awareness and appreciation of the wonders of existence.
So, meditate and live your life with mindful intention.