In this episode, I discuss the biological mechanisms of the state changes that occur during different types of meditation and describe how to develop the meditation practice optimal for you. I explain key meditation principles, such as using specific breathwork patterns and adjusting your perception to specific locations along the continuum between interoception, exteroception and dissociation. I discuss how meditation practices lead to long-term trait changes and neuroplasticity, including changing your default mood, reducing baseline anxiety/depression, increasing your ability to focus, enhancing relaxation, improving sleep, and increasing your overall happiness level. I also explain the concept behind the “third-eye center,” what mindfulness is from a biological standpoint, the power of ultra-brief meditations and how to select the best meditation and time and duration to meditate to meet your need. I also explain a novel open-eyed perception-based meditation that may enhance focus, relaxation and task-switching ability. Whether you are a novice or an experienced meditator or simply interested in how our brain controls different aspects of conscious awareness and self-regulation, this episode should interest you.
- A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind (Science)
- Brief, daily meditation enhances attention, memory, mood, and emotional regulation in non-experienced meditators (Behavioural Brain Research)
- Yoga nidra practice shows improvement in sleep in patients with chronic insomnia: A randomized controlled trial (The National Medical Journal of India)
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (by Jon Kabat-Zinn)
- The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America (by Don Lattin)
- Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body (by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson)
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