Meditation 101

Meditation can lower stress, improve focus, and help us sleep better and more soundly. But while these benefits are great, the practice isn’t as easy as it seems. Learn about the history of meditation, how to practice it, and how it impacts your health and your brain.


History of meditation:

The history of meditation dates back to India and China, with the oldest written records of meditation being from 1500 BCE. The training of the mind comes from Hindu traditions, and in the work of Laozi, a Chinese philosopher, meditation is referenced as an essential technique.


Meditation began to be of interest in the West in the 1700s when some of the Eastern philosophy texts were translated into different European languages. By the 1990s, mindfulness meditation was developed through Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to combat depression and anxiety.


How to meditate:

In the practice of meditation, one learns to pay attention to the breath, and notice when the mind wanders from this task. The practice of returning to the focused breath builds attention, focus, and mindfulness. As simple as this seems, it can be complicated for some.


Having forgiveness for oneself when meditating is one of the most important things to remember, as focusing and concentrating in silence for a dedicated period of time isn’t always a daily practice for everyone. Sticking with the practice is important though, because there are many benefits of meditation.


Benefits of meditation:

When it comes to a simple way to increase health, meditation is one of the easiest. Meditation has many health benefits, such as stress reduction, healthy sleep, a positive mood and outlook, and an increased pain tolerance.


The promotion of emotional health is one of the best benefits of meditation, as it can lead to less depression, with people experiencing fewer negative thoughts. In addition, meditation enhances self-awareness, which is key to developing a stronger understanding of yourself to help self-discover and relate to those around you. Feelings of loneliness decreased after practicing meditation as well.


Change the brain with meditation

The practice of meditation has an amazing variety of neurological benefits on the brain. To name a few, meditation helps preserve the aging brain, fights depression and anxiety, improves mood and well-being, boosts concentration and attention, reduces anxiety, and aids with addiction.


For developing brains, such as children in school, meditation has just as much promise as it does for adults. Teaching meditation in school reduces stress, helps with concentration, and calms kids.



There are many benefits of meditation for the brain, and the overall psychological well-being. If you want to know more about your brain and how it functions, contact Foothills Neurology to schedule a consultation today.


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