5 Amazing Things Mindfulness Meditation Does to Your Brain

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Mindfulness is an ancient practice originating across Asia, but in recent years it has taken a strong upsurge of interest in the West, particularly within scientific research communities regarding its impact on the brain.

An article in the Harvard Gazette, “Eight weeks to a better brain”, shares the results of a study conducted in an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program, founded by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical school, tested the benefits of mindfulness meditation, at this center, in a series of brain scans.

In an interview with the Washington Post, she shared 5 amazing ways that the brain of study participants changed.

Growth, or ‘thickening’, was found in:

1- The Posterior Cingulate: the part of the brain related to the tendency for the mind to wander, as well as related to self-relevance (the degree to which you implicate your ‘self’ in an experience, processing of information, etc).

2- The Left Hippocampus: related to learning, cognition, memory and emotional regulation.

3- The Temporo-Parietal Junction (TPJ): related to perspective, empathy, and compassion.

4- The Pons (an area of the brain stem): related to the production of regulatory neurotransmitters.

 

A reduction in size was found in:

5- The Amygdala: related to the fight or flight response part of the brain (central to stress, anxiety and fear)

So mindfulness meditation literally changes your brain in a way that allows you to process stress and fear more effectively, have more empathy and compassion, learn faster, and better regulate your emotions and perception. That’s a pretty big benefit!

Watch this wonderful little video of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn speaking about the ways you get healing and transformation through the science of mindfulness, changing your brain and your relationship to your emotions:

Are you ready to give it a try? Here is a guided mindfulness meditation for beginners designed and led byDr. Robert E. Dinenberg.

Why don’t you give it a try every day for 8 weeks? You can see the results for yourself. Let us know how it works for you in the comments. We love hearing from you!

 

References:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/26/harvard-neuroscientist-meditation-not-only-reduces-stress-it-literally-changes-your-brain/?utm_term=.805b6a1fccac

https://hbr.org/2015/01/mindfulness-can-literally-change-your-brain

https://hms.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/assets/Harvard%20Now%20and%20Zen%20Reading%20Materials.pdf

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/01/eight-weeks-to-a-better-brain/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvLRheIPY90

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dr.+jon+kabat-zinn+ted+talk

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dr.+jon+kabat-zinn

 

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