Meditation was the first idea that I had when thinking about hacking methods. There has been quite a lot of research done on meditation and the benefits range from relaxation or pain suppression to actually growing a bigger brain.
There's lots of different meditation types around, out of which mindfulness meditation has gained a lot of attention in the West. Mindfulness meditation has it's roots in Buddhist tradition, though it's been secularized for modern times. It concentrates on observing and accepting whatever there's going on in the body and the mind and freeing yourself from thinking about what your boss said to you last week or what should you not forget to buy at the store later today.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown in research to benefit the immune system, increase grey matter in the brain, improve memory and the ability to focus and help with being creative. Throw in an increase in happiness and you seem to have a pretty cost effective package.
It's somehow bewildering how thinking about stuff is able to cause beneficial physiological changes. Truly, the human body and brain are marvellous machines.
My goal is to kick up a habit of practicing mindfulness meditation regularly. I'm starting with at least four times of meditation a week and will let you know of the results. The possible changes might be difficult to measure in this case, so I'm going to blog regular updates on how meditation is progressing and if there seems to be any changes in general enlightenment.
I will try different guided meditation tapes for relaxation etc. but the "real" meditation will be done by following these instructions by Jasen Murray (courtesy of Kaj Sotala).
If you can't measure it, it doesn't exist. I will put up a separate blog post on measuring the effects of Hacked Man soon. So if you have any ideas on how to measure the effects of the whole project, please let me know!
Photo by Skyseeker (Flickr)