Although meditation and mindfulness may be getting trendier, the tangible impact meditation has on the brain still seems very removed. We read about how meditation supposedly induces structural changes in the brain and enhances your mental health, but with the modern day bombardment of health and food fallacies, meditation can come across as spiritual fluff. The dissonance many of us exhibit is that we feel incapable of reaching meditative zen, and when we do, it is difficult to sustain a healthy habit, and a healthy brain.
The MUSE headset is a new gadget developed to provide real-time feedback of what is happening to the brain while you meditate. It redefines mindfulness by adding the neurological component right at your fingertips with a bluetooth app that receives data directly from your brain’s electrical activity and relays the information to you via audiovisual cues. A helpful tutorial teaches you how to adjust the headband for both comfort and accurate brain signal reading and MUSE calibrates itself to each session by registering a snapshot of your brain in a natural state, in order to refer back to it as it processes your neuronal activity as you meditate.
The activity MUSE catches onto is electroencephalogram (EEG), an unbiased biomarker for the electrical rhythms in the brain. By tapping into your very own neuronal activity, MUSE allows for the most organic way to achieve cognitive equilibrium by triggering your Natural Relaxation Response. You can then achieve your own wellness goals by tracking progress with digestible graphs and charts that follow each session. These results are saved on a personal account and can help you monitor your wellness journey. Before you know it you will notice drastic improvements to your daily mental acuity and mood.
Prominent studies on meditation are being conducted using MUSE due to its accessibility and versatility. In one study, for example, MUSE has provided evidence that meditation evokes structural changes in the brain that make you a better leader due to refined emotional intelligence. According to world renowned psychologist Dr. Daniel Goleman, there are various competencies of emotional intelligence that make for successful leadership- empathy, self-awareness, conflict management and Emotional Self-control. Meditation tangibly hones each of these competencies, making us better leaders, and MUSE can play a key role in this journey. More broadly speaking, meditation has been scientifically shown to reduce symptoms associated with stress, depression and anxiety, and you can play a role in furthering this research as MUSE app itself allows you to share your session data with the company to further research on how effective the device is.
For most of us though, structural changes in the brain resonates very little with us. MUSE acts as a brain envoy, translating various brain waves it catches onto to rich, dynamic audio experiences. A stressed mental state corresponds to harsh sounds, whereas a calm state corresponds to peaceful sounds. Additionally, the technology tunes into your brain circuitry by rewarding you with motivational challenges. This form of neuro-feedback encourages you to build a regular habit of meditating through a phenomenon called operant conditioning. What’s more, the short, focused attention based exercises keep you alert and engaged. To me this goes to show how on par MUSE is with how our brains are wired, as research has shown that using an app and starting with brief exercises is highly effective in building a meditation practice
By catering to the diversity of brains and the stressful schedules many of us find ourselves in, MUSE promises immediate improvements to your mental health and vivacity through a dynamic neuro-feedback system. Investing in your brain is the best investment you can make, but it is difficult to decipher what does good and what does harm, as well as what is worth your time-. MUSE offers a compelling solution.
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