meditation enhances decision making

How Meditation Improves Your Decision Making Process


When it comes to life, almost everyone can admit that they have had moments where they thought they made the right choices only to get their fingers burned a short while later. And this brings a sense of regret and feeling of not being smart enough or skilled enough to make the right decisions, which can further hurt our ability to make better choices in the future.

Meditation has been found to be a useful tool to improve our mental performance and other areas of the brain that are linked to better decision-making.

Here, we explore this subject at length to see exactly how meditation can boost our decision-making abilities and lead to a better life at work and in our personal lives.

A Better Understanding of the Brain and Decision Making

Before we see how meditation improves our decision-making abilities, we need to first understand what happens behind the scenes when we are about to make a decision.

Ideally, there are 4 steps involved in the brain (1).

The first step involves sensory inputs producing some level of stimuli which then excite several neurons in the hippocampus.

The second step follows, which also involves the production of more stimuli that is secondary which is directed in the hippocampus to meet the initial stimuli from the sensory inputs. As this happens, a neural response that is influenced by the stimuli is released which makes the initial information we are to use to make our decisions.

From there, we get to the third step, where the initial information is directed to a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which then figures out which other extra information is needed and retrieves it from the hippocampus.

In the fourth step, we then have the hippocampus choosing the controlling process of the information it now has and it also communicates with the prefrontal cortex through neural wiring that helps with coming up with a favorable decision.

In essence, two major brain regions play a key role in the decision-making process, and these are the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. Although, other parts are involved but on a minimal level.

Now consistent meditation has been found to have a positive effect on these two regions and in turn heavily influence the whole process of making choices. Let’s take a much closer look at that.

How Meditation Helps You Make Better Decisions

Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can increase the density of the gray matter in the hippocampus, especially in the areas associated with introspection, learning, self-awareness, compassion, and memory (2).

Other studies have also concluded that the brains of meditators have larger hippocampal volumes, a higher amount of fibers that connect to the hippocampus, and larger hippocampal distances as well (3).

Meditation has also demonstrated its ability to thicken the regions of the brain such as the right anterior insula and the prefrontal cortex, which are linked to sensory processing, attention, and interoception (4).

The fact that meditation has a direct impact on the areas involved in decision-making shows that it can improve the process too if practiced in the long term.

There are also other ways meditation contributes to our making better decisions.

1. Meditation improves our empathetic concern which helps with social decisions

Meditation techniques like loving-kindness meditation, forgiveness meditation, and compassion meditation teach us how to understand others amidst our pain and aim to reduce their suffering.

When we have those brief moments of empathy towards others continuously, we develop the ability to make more considered decisions regarding our social lives which are based on understanding, empathy, and compassion, which incline us towards peace, happiness, and overall well-being.

2. Meditation enhances our cognitive control which influences reflective judgments

Various meditation styles have different impacts on our lives which also give our decision-making abilities a boost in the right direction.

For instance, some meditation styles such as breath-focused meditation and concentration meditation encourage practitioners to observe some inner experiences such as their breath, thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Others like mindfulness meditation encourage non-reactive and non-judgmental awareness.

Such meditation techniques improve cognitive control which helps reduce negative thinking patterns that happen automatically, habitual responding, and irrational behavior as well as other decision-based activities that affect us negatively.

Instead, the practice improves their level of attention and focus and allows them to take time to think considerably, reflect on the things that matter more, and come to more logical conclusions.

3. Meditation helps us regulate our emotions that reduce emotional decisions

When we are in the heat of the moment and are overwhelmed by different emotions including anger, sadness, anxiety, and even stress, it is quite easy to make rash decisions based on those emotions and end up regretting them later.

Meditation styles like mindfulness meditation help us gain control over our feelings which keep us from negativity bias, and emotionally influenced decisions and instead promote cognitive control that will help us reason well before we make the final decision.

Getting Started With Meditation For Better Decision Making

Here are some meditation techniques you should consider if you want to immerse yourself into meditation:

  1. Mindfulness meditation 
  2. Compassion meditation
  3. Loving-kindness meditation 
  4. Vipassana meditation 
  5. Transcendental meditation 
  6. Zen meditation
  7. Walking meditation 


In summary, meditation can help us be in the right mental space that can help us get clarity on the issues before us and help us solve them properly by making good decisions.

The fact that meditation and mindfulness help us be calm and wakeful as it also enhances our brain in the key regions that contribute to better evaluation, processing, and reasoning, shows if we meditate consistently, we can get to boost the functions of these regions and find it less difficult to make better decisions in our lives.

We encourage you to get started with meditation and mindfulness as early as now, if you haven’t yet, so that you can get to reap its benefits. Getting started with meditation is as fairly easy as choosing your preferred meditation style, learning how it is done, and then getting started doing it for as little as 1 to 5 minutes per day.


12 thoughts on “How Meditation Improves Your Decision Making Process

  1. Hi, really interesting. I always associated meditation with just relaxation and never really knew about the effects it has on our brain and its ability to support better decision making. I also like that it can keep us from negative bias especially with all the stress created now during the pandemic.

    After reading this article I would am strongly considering giving meditation a try. Thanks!

    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there Rae, 

      We are glad to hear you have gained value from the article. 🙂

      Meditation has immense benefits and if you practice it in the long term, you can get to enjoy its benefits.

      We wish you the best with your practice.


      The IYBP Team

  2. Wow, I really like your article explaining in detail how meditation can help us in making good decisions. It supports us in many ways, mentally, emotionally and socially as well! And thanks to your post, now I know there are many ways to do meditation, will definitely check out the other posts as well to find out more and find the most suitable style for me to start with! Thanks again!

    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there Grace, 

      We are happy you stopped by and read our article. 🙂

      We are also happy you learned how beneficial meditation actually is.

      We wish you all the luck in the world as you pick your meditation technique and as you get started with it.


      The IYBP Team

  3. Daniel Tshiyole says:

    How long should I meditate for and should it be a daily thing? Which is better, praying or meditating? I have not been much of a meditator but if it’s something that will help me make better decisions and get me ready to tackle the day, I will for sure add it into my everyday life 

    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there Daniel, 

      We understand the many concerns you may have about meditation as you are ready to get into it.

      To answer almost every question you may be having, we encourage you to check out our meditation category where we have tackled most searched for topics about meditation.

      They will answer many of your questions and provide you with more insight on how to go about your practice.

      We hope this helps. 🙂


      The IYBP Team

  4. I’ve found meditation and mindfulness helpful in my own life. When things are becoming too stressful, I find both of these things to be real tools that can help change a situation and calm me down. What I didn’t realize is that there are actual processes going on in the brain that contribute to a healthier mind because of meditation. It makes sense though. I really enjoyed reading this and learning more. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there Lee, 

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts on the topic.

      We really appreciate it. 🙂

      And you’re right, mindfulness and meditation really do improve your overall well-being if you practice them in the long term.

      We are glad you liked our post and we wish you well with your practice. 🙂


      The IYBP Team

  5. Thanks for the informative and thought-provoking article detailing how meditation improves your decision-making process. I’ve been investigating meditation as a means of attaining a more clam and focused state of mind. Distraction and racing thoughts seem to be more the norm for me. I especially appreciate your list of meditation techniques. I do a lot of walking and I’m intrigued by the walking meditation technique. Is this a technique you’ve been able to use successfully?


    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there Linda, 

      Thanks for stopping by and for contributing to the topic. 🙂

      Distractions and racing thoughts are a normal part of our lives and no matter how much we try to fight them, we will always find that our minds wander once in a while.

      We can learn to reduce that occurrence through consistent meditation and by consciously being aware of our thoughts through our typical day and try to redirect our attention to the things that matter whenever we notice we are drifting off.

      A couple of people in our staff have and still practice walking meditation and they have mentioned how helpful it has been for them over the period they have been working with it. So it is something we recommend.

      We hope this helps. 🙂


      The IYBP Team

  6. Hi,

    I like reading your article, short and concise. Thank you for pointing out that meditation can help us decide wise in a short period of time ( 1 to 5 minutes). Hope to develop the ability to do this and apply to my daily activity. 

    Found out this technique quite late but I will try, better late than not trying at all.



    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there AI,

      Your name is quite intriguing. 🙂

      We are happy to hear you loved the article and that you’re going to give meditation a go.

      Better late than never. 🙂

      We wish you the best in your meditation journey and if you ever need any help at any point in the journey, be sure to let us know how we can help. 🙂


      The IYBP Team

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