Want to improve your cognitive thinking? Do you have 20 minutes a day to dedicate to improving it? You’ll be interested to know that new research has shown how easy, mindful meditation for a few minutes every day can improve cognitive abilities.
Fadel Zeidan, a researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and former doctoral student at the University of North Carolina, along with Susan K. Johnson, Zhanna David, Paula Goolkasian, and Bruce J. Diamond, have conducted a study that tested students on their cognitive abilities before and after a week of meditation.
For this study, 63 student volunteers ‒ 49 of which completed the study ‒ were randomly split into two groups. The first group received basic meditation training using Buddhist techniques, while the second group listened to a vocal reading of “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkein.
Before the study began the students were tested on several levels, including mood and cognitive abilities. At the end of the study researchers discovered that both the meditation group and the reading group had increased moods, however the meditation group performed as much as ten times better on cognitive thinking and attention tests.
From the featured article in ScienceDaily: “Findings like these suggest that meditation’s benefits may not require extensive training to be realized, and that meditation’s first benefits may be associated with increasing the ability to sustain attention,” Zeidan said.
The meditation and cognitive thinking study appears in the April 2nd issue of Consciousness and Cognition journal.
If you are looking for a way to improve your cognitive ability ‒ the way your mind thinks and sorts through knowledge ‒ try this meditation technique for at least 20 minutes a day. After a week, if you don’t feel like you are more creative than before, at least you’ll have a better mood about it. Give it a try.
Photo by Bruce.