If you really want to improve your brain – meditate on it. A significant body of research is growing on the effects of meditation on the brain, and on wellness in general. One Harvard study compared subjects who meditated one and a half hours per day, and a non-meditation control group over 8 weeks. MRI studies revealed that meditators showed an increase in the volume of gray matter in the hippocampus (associated with memory, learning, and emotion regulation), as well as the parts of the brain associated with empathy, introspection, the ability to imagine the future, and the ability to perceive the views of others.
In an earlier Harvard study, imaging showed a decrease in the volume of the amygdala with meditation, which is the part of the brain responsible for fear and stress (the “fight of flight” component of the brain). This is not surprizing to experienced meditators who routinely experience lower levels of stress, greater compassion, and clearer thinking and focus through meditation.
Meditation may be difficult at first, because most people have a racing "monkey mind", but over time, it becomes easier because the brain is being trained and remodeled to be still and calmer on demand. This is a trait that anyone in a fast-paced, stressed-out, multitasking society can appreciate. If you tell a devoted meditator that you are too busy or your mind is too busy to meditate, they will knowingly smile, and gently let you know that that is exactly why you need to practice meditation .