Researchers have shown that mindfulness meditation practice leads to structural changes in a region of the brain related to experiencing stress. We know that meditation can provide cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day. Changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and show that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.
A study at Massachusetts General Hospital included sixteen adults in an 8-week program. All underwent MRI imaging of the brain before the study and spent an average of 27 minutes a day practicing mindfulness exercises. They did some gentle yoga as a group, learned about stress & its consequences and were taught mindfulness skills.
Data analysis showed increased concentrations of gray matter in the brain in the left hippocampus, the posterior cingulate cortex, the temporoparietal junction and the cerebellum of those who had practiced meditation. Study authors noted that the affected regions of the brain are involved in learning and memory, emotional regulation, self-referential processing and perspective-taking.
Include mindfulness work in your workout week. Try yoga, breathing exercises or meditation. Your brain will actually get bigger! A healthy body and a healthy spirit can lead to wholeness and peace.
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