Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson. Welcome to The Mindful Path! In this post, you’ll find out about some of the great benefits that mindfulness meditation provides to the brain. What is mindfulness meditation? As an example, take a moment and pay attention to your feet. “Wiggle your toes. Feel the way they push against your shoes, and the weight of your feet on the floor. Really think about what your feet feel like right now – their heaviness.” Now you have just experienced a bit of mindfulness meditation. See the reference from Scientific American here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2014/06/12/what-does-mindfulness-meditation-do-to-your-brain/
For people who regularly do mindfulness meditation, research is demonstrating that it causes the amygdala, the center of the brain responsible for the fight or flight response, to shrink. These positive changes in the brain appear to increase relative to the hours of meditation practice that a person completes.
Additional benefits show reduction in stress, and in inflammation associated with disease. Individuals who regularly practice mindfulness meditation can also reduce their experience of pain. Research has shown that these seasoned mindfulness practitioners do not engage in thought processes that make the experience of pain feel so unpleasant. In the brain, this happens because it appears that regions responsible for communicating pain become less active.
Want to try mindfulness meditation? The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center provides some free meditations you can play or download. Click on this link: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22
Another great resource for mindfulness is the site for Mindful magazine at http://www.mindful.org/
Please feel free to provide any comments below, or to email me directly at Mindful Path. I hope you’re enjoying a mindful week, and I look forward to sharing more ideas and resources in my next post.