More and more scientific evidence is emerging on mindfulness and meditation and how it’s beneficial for not just stress, but also disease prevention and reversal, pain management, sleep, and emotional wellness.
Take a look at 10 other reasons you might consider creating more moments of mindfulness in your life:
1. Lowers stress — instantly. Research published in the journal Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it’s also linked with decreased cortisol (stress hormone) level. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071008193437.htm
2. Helps you get better grades. Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that college students who were trained on practicing mindfulness performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE, and also experienced improvements in their working memory. It also boosts memory and reading comprehension skills. http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/brief-mindfulness-training-may-boost-test-scores-working-memory.html
3. Protects your brain. University of Oregon researchers found that integrative body-mind training (a meditation) can result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signaling connections (axonal density), and increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region. http://uonews.uoregon.edu/archive/news-release/2012/6/chinese-meditation-ibmt-prompts-double-positive-punch-brain-white-matter
4. Increases memory, empathy and “finding yourself.” Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital published a study showing that engaging in a mindfulness meditation program for eight weeks is linked with changes in the memory, empathy, stress and sense of self regions of the brain. http://www.psyn-journal.com/article/S0925-4927(10)00288-X/abstract
5. Turns down the NOISE(!!!) that makes you feel like exploding. Everyone says practicing mindfulness can make you feel more “zen” and focused. Why? It gives the brain better control over processing pain and emotions through the control of cortical alpha rhythms (which play a role in what senses our minds are attentive to), according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. http://www.frontiersin.org/Human_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00012/abstract
6. It makes music (and life?) more enjoyable. Mindfulness meditation improves our focused engagement in music, helping us to truly enjoy and experience what we’re listening to, according to a study in the journal Psychology of Music. Listening to music mindfully can be a powerful way to increase the quality of your life.
7. It helps us even when we’re not actively practicing it. You don’t have to actually be meditating for it to still benefit your brain’s emotional processing. That’s the finding of a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which shows that the amygdala brain region’s response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation, and this effect occurs even when a person isn’t actively meditating.
8. It lessens the symptoms of colds. People who engage in mindfulness practices miss fewer days of work from acute respiratory infections, and also experience a shortened duration and severity of symptoms.
9. It helps you lose weight. Mindfulness training is considered an “excellent” or “good”strategy for weight loss by seven out of 10 psychologists in this survey: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/02/lose-weight-your-way/index.htm
10. It helps you sleep better. University of Utah found that “People who reported higher levels of mindfulness described better control over their emotions and behaviors during the day, and lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress.” http://unews.utah.edu/news_releases/better-living-through-mindfulness/