Meditation and mindfulness.
Forget about the incense making you feel all balmy…
I want to share with you some of the scientific evidence of the benefits of regular practice (*)
Results from fMRI scans after 8 weeks of mindfulness training…
Intervention studies have been carried out that specifically look at what happens to the brains of people who practise approximately 20 or 30 minutes of mindfulness most days.
Important differences have been observed in their brains:
1. They have a thicker cortex (that’s the outer shell of the brain). This is of enormous benefit, as increasing cortical thickness even by a fraction of a millimetre makes a huge difference in brain ability.
2. Those who have meditated for lengthy periods of time have a measurably thicker prefrontal cortex. This is the area behind the forehead. These prefrontal brain regions help regulate attention, emotion, and actions.
3. They also have thicker cortex in the insula, a part of the brain that helps us tune into ourselves and also tune into the emotions of other people.
4. They have measurably thicker cortex in the area of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that puts things into perspective and also reduces both the activity and size of the amygdala, leading to increased resilience and reduced reactivity.
5. Also, after an 8-week mindfulness course participants were found to have a stronger immune system.
6. Another finding was that meditators have greater activation of the left prefrontal cortex which decreases negative emotions.
7. Brain wave activity in the very important gamma range substantially increased. These brain waves are associated with greater learning from life experiences and also a greater sense of integration and wholeness.
8. Meditators have also been found to have preserved telomeres, which are strips of atoms at the very ends of the chromosomes that protect us against age related illnesses of various kinds.
(*) Source: The British Mindfulness Academy
Why not explore what practice -and its many benefits- look like for yourself? I offer twice-weekly 30-minute mindfulness meditation sessions via ZOOM (no need to show your camera!). You can choose between Tuesdays (8pm UK) or Sundays (7:30pm UK) or both, of course. Practice is key. Tickets are £5 for one session or buy a Meditation Pass, £15 for four sessions. Book Here.