It’s always nice when ancient wisdom gets validated by science.
For thousands of years, we’ve known the benefits of meditation.
The increased ability to focus.
A higher level of control over our behaviour.
Recently, scientists found that a neurotransmitter — glutamate — builds up the brain area we use for most of our cognition.
Just like lactic acid builds up in our muscles when we exercise, glutamate builds up in our brain, which eventually has to do something about it.
Every little decision — every time we have to refocus or exert willpower — a little glutamate builds up.
As the brain falls behind processing that glutamate, our ability to focus and choose diminishes.
Meditation helps us practice our willpower so that we require less effort to focus when we want to and can exert our will longer.
Just like exercise helps our body get better at exerting energy and removing lactate buildup, it seems very likely that meditation helps our body get better at exerting willpower and removing glutamate.
And just like exercise, it only takes a little practice every day.