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Neuroscientist Says Meditation Can Make You Smarter

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Woman meditating (Photo by: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)
Research shows meditation can increase your IQ by 23 percent. (BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)

 

What if there was a technique to increase your IQ? And what if you could do it in a way that there were lasting benefits? Oh, and finally, it would be a method that didn’t require much time. Would something like that have any appeal to you?

If you’re too smart for your own good already, stay away. For the rest of us, it may be time to start meditating.

Melanie Curtin explores the benefits for Inc.com. Curtin writes:

“Meditation is not just good for your physiological health, reducing stress, improving mood, and setting you up for emotional equilibrium rather than reactivity. It can also make you significantly smarter. Siegfried Othmer, neuroscientist and former president of the neurofeedback division of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, conducted neurofeedback research on participants using brainwave training (a specific form of meditation). Those who meditated showed an average gain in IQ of 23 percent.”

How does it produce this jump?

“As slower brainwaves take over (also known as being in a delta or theta state), the brain increases its own plasticity, or ability to reorganize itself. By practicing focused attention during meditation, whether on your breath, a mantra, or even music, you give your brain just the right kind of respite. That’s all you need to do: You rest your brain, it improves itself.”

The increase was found to be “lasting,” with study participants still showing “significant gains in creativity, concentration, and self-awareness” during a follow-up study a year later. And rest assured, the improvement isn’t just for “yogis.” Curtin notes that benefits were experienced by a group that meditated “for only 20 minutes a day over four days.” Yes, that is 80 minutes total for a smarter you.

To read more on how meditation can increase your IQ, click here. Interested in getting started already? Curtin suggests heading over to Headspace, which bills itself as “a gym membership for your mind.”

 

RealClearLife Staff