Some benefits of mindfulness
The practice of mindfulness comes with a number of benefits, some of which have been proven scientifically while other claims remain hypothesis or scientifically incorrect because they cannot be measured. In this short article on mindfulness I will look at a short list of benefits of maintaining a regular practice.
Mindfulness increases cognitive intelligence and lowers stress and anxiety It is likely you have heard about this, that mindfulness actually changes the framework of the mind. Inside a scholarly review conducted by Britta Hölzel of Harvard Medical School, M.R.I. scans of subjects before and after mindfulness meditation (an average of about thirty minutes every day) were examined after eight weeks for any physical changes in the mind. Amazingly, the intensive research found an increase in grey matter in the hippocampus, an important part of brain for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduced amount of the same grey matter in the amygdala, a region linked to stress and anxiety. No such changes were seen in the control group that didn't practice meditation.
Mindfulness boosts our ability to think faster and make decisions A 2012 UCLA analysis printed in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience has uncovered that long-term meditators have much larger levels of gyrification, or folding of the brain's cortex, in comparison to people who don't meditate. Gyrification seems to increase the speed of brain cells communication. The cells being closer to each other, they can transmit neuronal electrical impulses much faster. Faster neural handling may be linked to faster cognitive processing of information. This in turn may imply that regular mindfulness practice could lead to an improvement in the way in which the mind processes information, makes decisions, forms memories etc.
Mindfulness boosts problem solving and creativity How mindfulness helps people to better solve problem and unleash their creativity is quite obvious. When you figure out how to liberate your brain from distractions and be an impartial observer of everything around you, you transform your ability to get insights and new perspectives. Within a 2011 study, research workers discovered that students who meditated for 20 minutes fixed a lot more unsolved problems from a pre-test procedure. Further analysis showed that maintaining an alert state during meditation (raising a hand to report every 10 deep breaths) led to more insights about the unsolved problems. This is directly hinting that mindfulness practice enhances creativity.
Mindfulness changes a person’s perception of pain A research performed at the University of Montreal revealed that people who practiced mindfulness meditation had a significantly higher pain threshold compared to people who did not practice mindfulness meditation. Another finding from a 2011 research on mindfulness meditation published in the Journal of Neuroscience showed that 4 days of mindfulness meditation could reduce a person’s perception of pain in half compared to those who did not meditate. These findings provide some evidence of the benefit mindful meditation can have on the life of a person suffering from pain.
This is a simple tactile exercise: Pinch your arm and absorb how it feels and what your thoughts start doing. Focus on the pain it triggers, and exactly how it radiates right out of the site where you pinch. This exercise really can tune you directly in terms of how your system deals with distress and what thoughts come to your mind when you feel pain. At the end of this exercise, you should ask yourself do I get irritated when I am feeling pain?
Marie claude Bouchet
Professional development, Personal development, mental wellbeing, stress management, resilience etc.