The challenge for February is: Meditate for the next 7 days.

Let’s first look at why we meditate and then at how you can include the practice in your daily life.

Why meditate?

There are many reasons to meditate. And we all heard the “it’s good for you”-explanation. Let’s look at the (neuro-)science behind meditation.

When we are stressed, the amygdala grows. The amygdala is a tiny little thing in our brain that is responsible for many of our emotional responses. The more stress we experience, the more our amygdala will grow, the more sensitive to stress we become.

Enter: Meditation and Mindfulness.

Prof. Davidson and his team have scanned the brains of monks as well as normal people, who practice mindfulness mediation. The effect on the brain after the first mediation is immediate.

What happens in our brain when we meditate? The pre-frontal cortex – the part of the brain behind your forehead – grows. This part of the brain is associated with decision-making and reasoning. When this part is trained and developed we make better decisions, get better at reasoning and – as Alex would say – silence the voice. Check out the interview with him.

How meditate?

If you are new to the practice, start small. You can find a great guided meditation over at Alex’s site. Alex lived in a Zen Buddhist monastery for almost 14 year and learned all about meditation and living a live of mindfulness.

But you don’t have to become a monk and shave your head to meditate.

“Every meditation is a good meditation.” – Alex Mill

It doesn’t matter whether you meditate for only 5 minutes a day – just try to be consistent for the next week. Sit for 5 minutes, listen to binaural beats or a guided meditation. Just do it.

What are your thoughts on meditation? Do you have a meditation ritual? What are your experiences? Let us know in the comment section below!