The frontal lobe - the area of the brain associated with higher mental processes - can become tired. Since it is the area where thoughts occur, it can become overwhelmed with information overload. In order to learn effectively, this area of the brain needs to be both rested and strengthened. This can be achieved through mindfulness meditation, which can be combined with yoga for extra benefits.
The Problem With Modern Learning
Learning now takes place in an age of information. This has made life easier, with the internet and apps designed to improve cognitive capabilities. Nowadays, the sum of the world’s knowledge is stored on a pocket sized smartphone.
However, this constant stream of information leaves many of us feeling tired. The Sleep Foundation notes that screens emit light that inhibit the brain’s production of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. This means that we are struggling to sleep deeply enough and for enough time. Since memories become consolidated in sleep, it means that there is less opportunity for information to be properly processed and stored in long-term memory.
Work emails, social media notifications and 24 hour news all provide constant stimulation for the brain. This means we struggle to stay focused on one thing and we are not allowing our brain to properly rest. As a result, we cannot concentrate fully when it comes to learning new information.
What We Can Do
Mindfulness meditation is like any other skill in that the more you practise, the easier it becomes. To make the job even easier, it is a good idea to find time to completely unplug from the modern world and find spirituality through reconnecting with nature.
You don’t need to travel deep into the Himalayas for this. Simply visiting a local park or nature trail, without your phone, can help clear the mind. Focus on the smells of the trees and the sounds of birds. If you can take a quiet walk by a river, the sound of rushing water will provide inner calm. By becoming present, you will feel your mind clearing of any anxieties and your tense body may begin to relax.
Then you can return to your study feeling refreshed and ready to take in new information. If you ever feel yourself becoming stressed, just close your eyes and take a break. Focus closely on the breath for a few moments so that your mind can refocus before returning to work.
Mindfulness is one part of spirituality with significant scientific backing. The brain needs time to rest from information overload and increasing the ability to focus reduces stress and aids learning. Taking just a few moments a day to meditate can drastically increase productivity.