How Meditation Works & Science-Based Effective Meditations


Huberman Lab

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.

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(00:00:00) Meditation

(00:04:48) Sponsor: LMNT

(00:08:25) Brief History of Meditation: Consciousness, Psychedelics, fMRI

(00:16:19) How the Brain Interprets the Body & Surrounding Environment; Mindfulness

(00:26:07) Neuroscience of Meditation; Perceptual Spotlights

(00:31:58) Sponsor: AG1

(00:33:41) Interoception vs. Exteroception

(00:42:20) Default Mode Network, Continuum of Interoception & Exteroception

(00:53:30) Tools: Interoceptive or Exteroceptive Bias, Meditation Challenge

(01:01:48) State & Trait Changes, Interoceptive & Exteroceptive Meditations, Refocusing

(01:07:35) Tool: Brief Meditations, Waking Up App

(01:10:30) “Third Eye Center” & Wandering Thoughts

(01:20:46) Meditation: Practice Types, Focal Points & Consistency

(01:24:10) Breathwork: Cyclic Hyperventilation, Box Breathing & Interoception

(01:30:41) Tool: Meditation Breathwork, Cyclic vs. Complex Breathwork

(01:39:22) Interoception vs. Dissociation, Trauma

(01:47:43) Model of Interoception & Dissociation Continuum

(01:53:39) Meditation & Dissociation: Mood, Bias & Corresponding Challenge

(02:00:18) Meditation & Sleep: Yoga Nidra, Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR)

(02:11:33) Choosing a Meditative Practice; Hypnosis

(02:14:53) Tool: Space-Time Bridging (STB)

(02:25:00) Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Social Media

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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