Millennials and younger generations are ruled by technology and, as a result, are bombarded by information from all angles.
But technology can also be harnessed to improve attention and memory, a new study has found after testing a personalised digital meditation app, known as MediTrain, on young adults.
The results, published by Nature Human Behavior, saw remarkable improvements in attention and memory in just six weeks in the experimental clinical trial.
The application was tested on 59 participants ranging from 18 to 35 years old. They practised short daily meditation sessions of 20 to 30 minutes.
Participants were able to focus their attention for longer periods, and their working memory increased.
“Younger generations have deeply embraced information technology and multitasking in their personal lives, school and the workplace, creating myriad challenges to their attention,” said senior author and neurologist Adam Gazzaley, director of Neuroscape at the University of California, San Francisco. They conducted the research and developed the app.
Being connected 24/7 on tech devices adds a range of social, mental, and academic pressures to people, as they try to keep up with a fast-paced society.
Meditation offers a relief from most of these problems.
Meditation is a focus and breathing practice, which involves concentrating on the movement of breath going in and out of their body.
It improves the ability to multitask, and leads to a decrease in procrastination since it makes it easier to refocus the mind.
The study found that delivering “aspects of the ancient practice of focused attention meditation” with modern technology “enhanced sustainable attention”.
Younger generations have deeply embraced information technology and multitasking in their personal lives, school and the workplace, creating myriad challenges to their attention.
Pondering past painful experiences ignites depression and anxiety – conditions that effect one in five South Africans. Despina Learmonth, an SA cognitive behavioural therapist, highly recommends breathing exercises and mediation to help relieve these issues.
According to the African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, meditation produces “impressive results in reducing symptoms across a wide range of mental and physical health problems”.
The calming discipline acts as a “valuable intervention to reduce stress, improve mood states and decrease medical symptoms in the South African context”.
Meditation is widely recommended in SA and the world, for students and employees alike.
Digital advances, such as MediTrain, make it is easy to include this necessary practice into a technologically driven day and age.