There has been a surge of neuroscience research around mindfulness meditation. We now know that the structure and function of the brain remain neuroplastic (changeable) throughout our lives.
This is great news. Here's why.
An increasing number of brain imaging/ MRI studies are suggesting that mindfulness meditation reliably and profoundly alters the structure and function of the brain to improve the quality of both thought and feeling.
In a simple explanation, mindfulnesss meditation appears to reshape some vital neural pathways, increasing the density and complexity of areas associated with attention, self-awareness, and introspection as well as emotional areas connected with kindness, compassion, and rationality. It decreases growth in areas involved with worry, anxiety, hostility, and impulsivity. Although the most impressive changes are seen with long-term meditators, mindfulness interventions of just a few weeks have shown clear and visible impacts on brain function and performance.
These findings echo first-person accounts you hear from people who meditate. They talk of feeling that they know themselves and their habits and motives better. They experience more compassion and less judgement towards others, have increased ability to be calm and patient, are less impulsive, and feel a greater sense of perspective.
If you're interested in trying out some basic mindfulness practices, there's are local meditation groups everywhere. Or there's a small meditation section over on our sister site that might help you learn some of the basic techniques. My experience is that learning it for yourself is more effective than the guided meditation apps, but anything is better than nothing. See what works for you.
Here you'll find essays and musings on applied mindfulness. What does this look like on a daily basis? How can you infuse it in your day to enjoy yourself more? Join hundreds of others on the the mailing list (link in footer) to get these straight to your inbox.