The Mindfulness Clinic Blog
Mindfulness in the news: Meditation changes your brain - April 4, 2011
The Globe and Mail recently highlighted the growing body of scientific research on mindfulness meditation, underscoring the benefits of regular practice for many areas of life. The article discusses the following research findings and expert opinions on mindfulness:
One study found that meditation practice actually changes the grey matter in your brain.People with no prior meditation experience showed increased grey-matter density in a number of brain regions, including those devoted to emotion regulation and memory, after an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.
Other research found that people who took part in an 8-week MBSR course were more likely to use the part of the brain that senses the here-and-now and less likely to use the part that senses worry. Mindfulness-based groups are also highly effective in treating chronic pain and stress-related illness.
Though mindfulness meditation is rooted in Buddhist tradition, mindfulness-based groups are taught and practiced in a secular way, designed for ongoing health maintenance. Mindfulness teaches you to learn to pay attention to the present moment, not getting caught up or distracted by thoughts or emotions.
The benefits of mindfulness tend to be proportional to the regularity of practice—a daily practice will lead to more permanent grey matter changes more quickly than sporadic practice.