Plenty of research has been done into meditation over the past few decades – and more specifically, how it can affect our brains for the better. New studies are constantly surfacing showing some new benefits of mindfulness meditation, all of which have been confirmed by EEG and fMRI scans.
The practice seems to have incredible neurological benefits like improving grey matter volume and boosting focus – both of which can be very helpful for golfers in particular. Here are five fascinating ways in which meditation can alter your brain – and improve your game concurrently as well!
#1: Meditation Slows Ageing
An ageing brain could be prone to making more mistakes and poor judgements, and for a golfer, this can be the difference between a hole-in-one and a merely satisfactory game. Even online betting fans need sharp concentration in order to ensure that they are placing golf bets with the best possible odds of lucrative returns.
Studies have found that meditators have better-preserved brains as they age, as well as having more grey matter volume than their peers. The practice seemingly affects many regions throughout the entire brain, streamlining its processes and keeping your thought patterns sharp.
#2: Meditation Decreases DMN Activity
The default mode network (DMN) is the part of our brains responsible for mind wandering and self referential thoughts. Also called the ‘monkey mind’, this part of the brain distracts us with worry and rumination, which can eventually have an impact on our everyday lives and our golf performances.
Luckily, meditation has been proven to quiet the DMN, making it easier to focus and preventing your thoughts from running away with you at inopportune moments.
#3: Meditation Helps Depression and Anxiety
Anxious about an upcoming golf tournament? Try meditating. A recent review found that the practice has the power to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even pain.
As a form of brain training, it also helps to increase your mental awareness while helping to manage the negative effects of the conditions mentioned above.
#4: Meditation Improves Your Brain Volume
There are few people who wouldn’t appreciate having bigger brains! In 2011, it was confirmed that meditation can actually change the structure of your brain, thickening the core of your hippocampus (which controls learning and memory) and boosting the parts of your brain that regulate emotion and self referential processing as well.
Scientists found that the amygdala – the part of the brain responsible for stress, worry and fear – also shrank considerably as a result of regular meditative practices. Improved mood and well-being were even reported by participants of the study in question.
#5: Meditation Boosts Alertness and Concentration
Concentration and alertness are both crucial for a strong golf game. Fascinatingly, one of the most notable benefits of meditation is that it helps people’s memory, focus and levels of concentration, with the increase in score equivalent to a whopping 16 percentile points.
As focus is one of the core points of meditation, it’s no wonder that it has the power to boost your cognitive skills and help you to concentrate on getting that elusive hole in one!