MEDITATION AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT TOOLS

Does Meditation Enhance Innate Intelligence?

There are many reasons to practice meditation. An often-overlooked benefit is that meditation alters your cognitive and emotional intelligence as well as your total brain integration, neuroplasticity, working memory, spatial abilities, creative problem-solving skills, and attention span. In brief, meditation makes you smarter!

In this article, we’ll outline exactly how this ancient practice increases your innate intelligence in multiple ways. 

Halting Cognitive Decline and Telomere Length

Meditation slows some of the cognitive decline that accompanies aging by altering certain brain functions. In one study, participants that practiced yoga and mindfulness meditation experienced slower cognitive decline than the control group. [1] This study has since been replicated many times. 

Meditation seems to be able to slow brain aging by lengthening telomeres, the protein caps on the end of your body’s chromosomes. Normally, telomeres become shortened in the process of cellular replication. If they become too short, cells cannot regenerate, and this is associated with age-related disease. University of California scientists, Elissa Epel and Elizabeth Blackburn won a Nobel prize for their work on telomeres and their discovery of the effect of telomere length on the aging process. 

It seems the longer your telomeres are, the less likely you are to age pre-maturely, and this includes cognitive decline. Meditation is known, specifically for lengthening telomeres. [2] 

Fluid Intelligence

Meditation also increases fluid intelligence, resilience, and global network efficiency, which is a fancy way of saying that when you meditate consistently, your brain learns to utilize more neural pathways. [3]

Fluid intelligence is the ability to think on your feet, and reason flexibly without relying on past experience. It allows you to be completely present in the moment, assess what is happening, and to make intelligent decisions no matter what is going on.

Greater Neuroplasticity

Neuroimaging and electroencephalographic studies reveal that your brain’s connectivity when you meditate is greatly enhanced. Deep changes also happen at the structural level allowing for more neuroplasticity. [4]  Our brains are already extremely resilient, able to create brand new neurons and synaptic connections well into old age, however, it seems meditation helps to facilitate this process with greater ease. 

Studies have shown a high-level of brain integration and neuronal activity both during, and after a meditation session. 

More Emotional Intelligence

Another way that meditation improves our intelligence is by developing greater emotional intelligence. This is becoming a highly-sought-after skill for many employers because it allows you to respond to others with empathy and compassion, and to problem solve more efficiently when it comes to the thousands of human interactions we must participate in regularly. 

Meditation improves emotional intelligence while lowering stress and its associated neuro-hormones. [5] 

More Creativity

Finally, meditation can help to boost creativity. Meditation has been proven to increase insightfulness in many studies. 

Johanna Bassols has several meditations available that can help you use this phenomenal tool, which is scientifically proven to alter many types of intelligence. 



 

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[1] Gard, T., Taquet, M., Dixit, R., HÃlzel, B. K., De Montjoye, Y., Brach, N., Salat, D. H., Dickerson, B. C., Gray, J. R., & Lazar, S. W. (2014). Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2014.00076


[2] Alda, M., Puebla-Guedea, M., Rodero, B., Demarzo, M., Montero-Marin, J., Roca, M., & Garcia-Campayo, J. (2016). Zen meditation, length of telomeres, and the role of experiential avoidance and compassion. Mindfulness, 7(3), 651-659. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-016-0500-5


[3] Freire, T. (2018, January 19). The anti-aging impact of meditation. Wall Street International. https://wsimag.com/wellness/35256-the-anti-aging-impact-of-meditation


[4] Lardone, A., Liparoti, M., Sorrentino, P., Rucco, R., Jacini, F., Polverino, A., Minino, R., Pesoli, M., Baselice, F., Sorriso, A., Ferraioli, G., Sorrentino, G., & Mandolesi, L. (2018). Mindfulness meditation is related to long-lasting changes in hippocampal functional topology during resting state: A Magnetoencephalography study. Neural Plasticity, 2018, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5340717


[5] Nidich, S. (2018). Effect of meditation on emotional intelligence and perceived stress in the workplace: A randomized controlled study. The Permanente Journal. https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/17-172


[6] Capurso, V., Fabbro, F., & Crescentini, C. (2014). Mindful creativity: The influence of mindfulness meditation on creative thinking. Frontiers in Psychology, 4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.01020



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