According to Lucy Jo Palladino, author of Find Your Focus Zone, “The dangers of the digital age include incessant work demands, high stress, feeling rushed, no time for intimacy, lost family time – the problems we see every day. But the most overlooked danger of digital-age distraction may be the unseen weakening of pathways for sustained attention in the prefrontal lobe of the brain.” Her book identifies a number of studies that show that adults who meditated routinely had thicker prefrontal lobes than those who did not. Increased thickness of the prefrontal lobes is considered to be a sign of resilience to stress and aging.
So how do you create positive meditative experiences that help you thicken your prefrontal lobes? The first key is to set aside a specific time each day for your meditation and to find a spot that is quiet and without a lot of distractions. A quiet corner in your home or a chapel or a church in your neighbourhood is good places to start. Silence is also a key element in finding the focus required for meditation, so put away the ear buds or at least turn off the music.
A book is also useful to serve as a basic tool to begin the process and help maintain focus. If your brain starts to stray down the path of “all the things I need to do today” you can use the book to bring yourself back to the moment. Fit Minds has just published a book of Quotes & Notes which can be an aid for reflection or meditation.
Finally, a notebook to jot down some words that resonate with you or thoughts or inspirations that come to you during your time of meditation is important. These notes can form the basis for later times of reflection.