Cognitive Benefits Of Mindfulness

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Psychotherapist and former Buddhist Monk Donald Altman once said, “If you truly want to change your life, you must first be willing to change your mind.” As research suggests, changing your mind can have drastic benefits for your personal health and well-being. Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding experience moment by moment.” (Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Context) “[T]he principles and practices associated with mindfulness have been applied within many of the world’s great spiritual or wisdom traditions for millennia, most notably in Buddhism.” (Dobkin and Hassed 9) In fact, it was a physician from the Rochester School…show more content…
One must first understand that due to neuroplasticity, the brain is known to rewire itself after different experiences. A paper in the prestigious Nature Review, acknowledged twenty-one studies that found positive changes in neurological activity after mindfulness. Researchers observed enhanced meta-awareness in the frontal cortex, which controls executive functions; Hippocampus (memory) improvements; and changes in the corpus callosum (communication between hemispheres). (Tang, Hölzel and Posner) One notable study prompted further research into mindfulness. In this study, the participants had never undergone meditation or mindfulness training and after only eight weeks showed an increase in the elusive grey matter density and thickness in brain regions for attention, self-awareness, and memory. (Hölzel, Carmody and Vangel) With such stunning neurological changes visible on MRI images, one researcher said, “[this] is like reversing the assumed cortical thinning associated with ageing.” (Dobkin and Hassed 19) With mounting evidence for mindfulness, professionals began to find applications of mindfulness

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