The benefits of mindfulness: Mindfulness and the brain

The benefits of mindfulness: Mindfulness and the brain

This week, we're exploring how mindfulness affects the brain.

It's no secret that mindfulness is life-changing! Time and time again, we experience the amazing effects of our practice. But we wanted to know how exactly that happens? What's the secret sauce?!

This week, we're diving in to figure it out.

Meditation can be a form of brain training. 💪🏽

Yup — you read that right. When used as a form of 'brain training', mindfulness produces similar effectiveness to that of some prescription drugs in combatting anxiety and depression. Isn't that incredible?! We know that meditation is helpful when combatting stress, and according to a study conducted by the Jama Network, the results of using meditation to treat anxiety and depression ranked at the same level of effectiveness as antidepressants.

Meditation actually changes the structure of your mind. 🤯

Mindfulness and meditation practices can lead to an increase of grey matter in the hippocampus.

The hippocampus is the region of the brain responsible for memory, emotion, learning, and motivation. According to a Harvard study, after 8 weeks of Meditation-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), participants experienced an increase in grey matter concentration, and a decreased activity in the amygdala, the region responsible for stress and fear.

Developing a meditation practice improves concentration and attention. 🤓

Having difficulty focusing can be super frustrating. Thankfully, a recent study has concluded that practicing mindfulness can help! After just two weeks of practicing, participants took an exam, in which both GRE reading-comprehension scores and working memory capacity improved, compared to the scores they received before beginning their mindfulness practice. That's not all — this study also resulted in reduced occurrences of distracting thoughts during the completion of the exam. WOW.



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