Use Your Brain for a Change; Research Indicates Meditation Practice Can Increase One's Wellbeing and Quality of Life

Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia), March 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Use Your Brain for a Change; Research Indicates Meditation Practice Can Increase One's Wellbeing and Quality of Life


RESEARCH has shown the brain's structure changes after only eight weeks of meditation practice.

A group of Harvard neuroscientists were interested in mindfulness meditation because it had been reported to produce positive effects on psychological wellbeing that extended beyond the time the individual was actually meditating.

"Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day," senior study author Sara Lazar PhD said.

To see if mindfulness training had any measurable effect on the brain, 17 people were enrolled in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress-reduction course. The course promised to improve participants' mindfulness and wellbeing, and reduce their levels of stress.

MRI scans of the people's brains were taken before and after they completed the meditation course. A control group who didn't do any mindfulness training also had their brains scanned.

Meditation group participants spent an average of 27 minutes a day practising mindfulness exercises, and their responses to a mindfulness questionnaire indicated significant improvements compared with pre-participation responses. …

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