Mindfulness is Good for the Brain: Here’s Why

Mindfulness is Good for the Brain: Here’s Why

Mindfulness-based programs have been developed to reduce stress and medical symptoms to promote overall wellness. One thought is to what extent these programs are different or the same. Stress reduction courses seem a dime a dozen lately, so finding the right mindfulness practice is healing and helpful for you in recovery, and for your brain.

The Relaxation Response

This was first developed based on a need for helping people find eep rest. The other is mindfulness-based stress reduction. Although both interventions are based on meditation, the philosophies and traditions are different. Wellness is not the same as meditation. Mindfulness is really a practice about the brain-body connection nd the ability to help it calm down and find peace.

Healthy Adults

Eighteen people were investigated who signed up for a trial of those with high levels of stress. They completed the program to decrease stress and increase mindfulness. The mindfulness program result in further improvements in measures like self-compassion and rumination. The team measured brain activity during a meditation technique common to both programs in which attention is moved throughout the body to develop awareness. While the relaxation-response program instructs people to relax their body, the mindfulness program emphasized mindful awareness and acceptance.

Brain and Mindfulness

Looking at the study, the results showed the strength of neural interaction between brain regions associated with present-moment awareness and bodily attention increased through body-scan meditation. The relaxation-response body scan strengthened coupling between neural regions associated with deliberate control, including the inferior frontal gyrus and supplementary motor areas. The mindfulness scan strengthened coupling between neural regions associated with sensory awareness and perception. Findings indicate programs are working through these mechanisms.

What is demonstrated is that the mind-body connection is very strong in mindfulness practice. The neural challenges for the brain in mindfulness practice is key to helping it relax and find peace. Recovery is very stressful so any time the brain and body can rest and relax is key to finding a better pathway forward.

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