Meditation Changes Your Brain for the Better, Even if You're Not a Monk | Wendy Suzuki | Big Think
Wendy Suzuki | 3:31
We know a lot about, or we're growing our, our knowledge about the effects of meditation, long term meditation in, um, people like monks that meditate for 50 or, you know, 50,000 hours in their lifetime. And we know that this. Completely changes the electrophysiological responses of their brains. They have much higher levels of what we call gamma waves, which is a particular frequency of wave.
Not only that, but even their resting baseline, even when they're not. Meditating their wave. Um, their brainwaves are more like meditation. Uh, the meditation, uh, um, kind of brainwaves than than novice people that ha don't have any, um, experience meditating. So it really changes both the baseline level of physiological activity as well as the, um, response when you're asked to actually.
There are kind of two categories of studies that have been done on meditation. One on these, um, lifelong meditators, the monks, and the others on the other category of studies on people like you and me, that that started out with no meditation experience and started to meditate. And those perhaps are more relevant studies for, for most people.
And those studies have shown significant improvements in, um, attention functions with, with increased. And also actual anatomical changes in the brain with, um, perhaps a little bit more experience with meditation, maybe five years of meditation experience. Um, increase the size of white matter bundles in the prefrontal cortex.
So there are, you know, substantial physiological anatomical changes that have been shown with, um, with meditation. And, um, um, there's also effects on, um, depressive symptoms. So decreases, uh, of depressive symptoms, decreases in stress, um, symptoms. So meditation is doing lots of positive things in, uh, some very, very similar to exercise and some slightly different.
So I. There's definitely gonna be a difference, but there's, um, overlapping positive functions that exercise and meditation have on, on your general brain. How do you get to be a regular meditator? And the answer is, I think start very, very small. Um, I know for myself, I have a sub chapter in my book called, um, confessions of a Yo-Yo Meditator because I think I have tried all different kinds of meditation.