There isn’t a one definition for meditation or mindfulness. Perhaps meditation for you is specializing in what you’re consuming, engaged on interpersonal communication, or counting your breaths. Whereas these differ vastly, the components of the mind which might be utilized in these practices are the identical.
So, earlier than speaking by meditation practices, I’ll clarify meditation at a neural degree; serving to you perceive how our mind is utilized in mindfulness practices. There are three interconnected elements of the mind which might be activated throughout meditation:
- The Prefrontal cortex
You will have heard somebody say earlier than that ‘our prefrontal cortex totally develops at 25 years of age.’ That is precisely the a part of the mind we are actually speaking about! We even have separate areas of the prefrontal cortex. We are going to focus particularly on our left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is behind our brow and to the left. Our left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, when activated, synthesizes and controls our bodily and emotional sensations.
2. The Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)
The ACC interprets completely different bodily indicators resembling an elevated coronary heart price or change in respiratory rhythm. This data concerning bodily indicators is acquired from different areas of the mind, such because the amygdala and hypothalamus, and different components of the physique, together with the intestine and coronary heart. Then, the ACC synthesizes this data.
3. The Insula
Imagine it or not, the insula is but one other a part of the mind that interprets bodily indicators. It is a cortical area of the mind that helps with processing ache, dependancy, and interoception.
Now it’s possible you’ll be pondering, aren’t all these 3 components of the mind doing the identical factor? Effectively… all of them work TOGETHER to perform frequent targets. Total, these components of the mind are used to know what the physique is feeling.
So now that we have now neuroscience down, let’s get to how that is associated to mindfulness and meditation. There’s not one strategy to meditate, however what could also be the easiest way for YOU to meditate?
Throughout meditation, we deal with notion over sensation. This implies we’re reflecting inward as an alternative of outward- sensation focuses on what surrounds us and what we contact, hear, see, and really feel. A few of us could also be higher at notion than others, and we should self-assess the place we fall on this continuum.
If you end up sensing modifications in coronary heart price or respiratory rhythms, you may have a robust interoceptive consciousness. Alternatively, if you happen to wrestle to synthesize the way you’re feeling internally, and are extra targeted on exterior stimuli, you’re stronger in exteroception.
Total, this self-assessment on interoception versus exteroception consciousness displays how a lot you’ll be able to attend to issues within your self versus outdoors of your self. We are able to use this self-assessment to personalize meditative practices. There are meditations which might be interoceptive biased and interoceptive biased.
In case you’re stronger in interoception, think about the following-
Interoceptive consciousness meditations- eyes ought to be closed:
- Guided physique scans
- Respiratory workout routines
- Physique tensing- progressive muscle leisure
In case you’re weaker in interoception, think about the following-
Exteroceptive meditations- eyes ought to be open:
- Specializing in a nonetheless level on a wall, or a candle flame
- Strolling meditation
- Conscious consuming
Meditation is likely one of the most accessible types of self-care. Discovering what works for you is extraordinarily necessary and a unbelievable strategy to get extra in contact with your self! Attempt to self-assess and use these specified meditative methods for interoceptive versus exteroceptive practices.
Learn extra right here: Self-Care Suggestions