Mindfulness Can Change Your Brain!
March 14, 2019
What is Mindfulness?
It is a form of meditation to bring our attention to the present moment, on purpose with an openness and acceptance for what is being experienced. Mindfulness is not a religion nor a way to empty the mind or even to relax. Our minds are constantly on and our thoughts can be compared to a “monkey-mind” being drawn in many directions, moment-to-moment. The goal of mindfulness is to observe our thoughts with an objective awareness and to have conscious control of our thoughts and actions.
Here is a quick video to show you how the process of mindfulness training works specifically with the brain. Read on for more on the fascinating findings.
In the first few minutes of meditation, your ventromedial prefrontal cortex lights up. At this point our thoughts jump from one to the next – our monkey-mind. This part of the brain is always active unless we learn to activate other areas (which is what meditation does.) This part of the brain runs through the lens of “me.”
Once you start to focus your attention, your lateral prefrontal cortex lights up. Whether our focused attention is on our breath, mantra, footsteps, counting, or voice guided meditation, your lateral prefrontal cortex activates and overrides the “me” thoughts in favor of a more rational, logical, balanced position. This part of the brain help you see things neutrally.
After 8 to 12 weeks of meditating daily, your dorsomedial prefrontal cortex get activated. This is the part of the brain that helps us develop empathy. We are more compassionate and we ultimately have longer term changes that become newly formed traits of how we experience life.
The information above is just a few of the articles and studies that are discovering that mindfulness meditation is a powerful change agent in our minds and bodies. Mindfulness not only benefits how we attend to our thoughts and choose to take action, but also neurologically to create lasting transformation.