A lot of talk has been generated recently as to the benefits a meditation practice has on your brain. And although most people know that this translates into physical, mental and spiritual well being, the question is how?
Sian Beilock explores the question in this latest Psychology Today post. According to Beilock, who references a recent mindfulness meditation study from the University of Cape Town, several brain areas charged with monitoring bodily states were less active in those who participated in the study. Participants were asked to open their awareness to their present moment bodily sensations, thoughts and emotions without judgement or reaction to the physical and mental events.
“Mindfulness” is a capacity for heightened present-moment awareness that we all possess to a greater or lesser extent. Training this capacity seems to have a quieting effect on brain areas associated with our subjective appraisal of our self. By considering thoughts and feelings as transitory mental events that occur, but are separate from the self, people are able to lessen their hold on their worries and positive mental health outcomes follow.
Read more on how to use meditation to enhance overall health through the reduction of stress and anxiety here.