5 Ways Mindfulness Practice Positively Changes Your Brain
5 May 2020
In recent years mindfulness has become a buzzword in neuroscience, and mental health fields. Over thirty years of research has found that mindfulness practice, mindfulness meditation and mindfulness based stress reduction shares a symmetry with mental, physical and emotional health. Some of the benefits of mindfulness practice include the following:
- Great control over your attention
- Better social relationships
- Lowered risk of physical illness
- Better immune system
- Better sleep quality
There are essentially five ways in which mindfulness practice positively changes your brain.
Mindful states achieve through meditation, meditation training, mindfulness based stress reduction training and mindfulness practice boost frontal brain activity. Over time this increased cortical strengthening bolsters our capacity for rational thought and intentional planning which promotes great emotional awareness and control and executive functioning.
Mindfulness practice and mindfulness training helps reduce grey matter and activity in the amygdala (a roughly almond-shaped mass of grey matter inside each cerebral hemisphere, involved with the experiencing of emotions). This helps reduce feelings of fear and anxiety and promotes physiological well-being and calmness.
Social Neural Circuitry
There’s a strong correlation between relationship practice and mindfulness practice. Mindfulness has been found to play a vital role in establishing and maintaining emotionally nourishing relationships.
Mindfulness practice also impacts the hippocampus positively, helping us to better remember and lead to greater cognitive functioning.
Anterior Cingulate Cortex
Mindfulness practice increases one’s attention levels and enhances emotional control. With the online world constantly vying for our attention this can have a great benefit to us.
The insula controls the internal sense of the body, “gut” feelings and responses. This region is associated with how we perceive ourselves physically. The ability
In his article, Linder concludes that the ability of (mindfulness practice) to increase the thickness of your brain and protect against normal age-related brain thinning linked to dementia, in itself, is an especially compelling reason to practice (Linder, 2019).
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