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Benefits of Mindfulness: 8 Science-Backed Results


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Below is a science-backed list of 8 benefits of mindfulness practice gathered from reputable sources. There is so much discussion around the benefits of mindfulness today, and it can be hard to determine the facts, from fantasy...

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1. Reduce Rumination by rewiring the brain

One of the most impressive science backed benefits of mindfulness is its ability to physically change the wiring of our brains. Uncoupling the insula, in the neocortex (empathy, experience your body as it is), from the ventromedial frontal cortex (story telling part) is a way of supporting you to detach from unhelpful concepts that can tinge your way of experiencing life, and cause things like depressive or negative thinking.

2. Downregulate your ‘fight or flight’ basal stem

Sticking with the brain, regular mindfulness practice has been shown to dampen down an overactive amygdala, the emotional regulator and also the part responsible for fight or flight, which can support your ability to manage feelings of stress an anxiety. An overactive fight or flight reaction is also responsible for a number of other comorbidities such as chronic anxiety, or obsessive compulsive behaviours.

3. Cut the chance of recurrent depression by 50%

Studies based on a sample of people with three or more enduring episodes of depression, showed a marked and tangible effect, with a decrease in recurrent depression by 50%, as well as demonstrable evidence that mindfulness practice has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants. Six mindfulness clinical trials were replicated across the globe, for example, and amongst 600 patients were tested and this was proven to hold up to the theory.

activated neuron, benefits of mindfulness on brain

4. Improve Concentration levels

Studies show that the average American adult spends 47% of their day not paying attention to what they are doing. ADHD levels amongst children are also increasing rapidly over the past few decades, and we all know the effects that technology has played in this phenomenon too. Mindfulness has shown to significantly improve concentration levels, through the focusing of the mind, and practicing the focusing of the mind and attention. Through regular practise of mindfulness, one can become much calmer and more in control.

5. Increase levels of happiness

Another by-product of the last point is that those people who expressed that their attention levels were low, also experienced a lower level of satisfaction and happiness. The paper that this research was based on was called “A Wondering Mind is an Unhappy Mind” and the premise was that an inability to focus fully on tasks would lead to dissatisfaction and a constant feeling of unease.

The good news is that as little as 10 minutes can be enough to improve this concentration and thus impact on efficiency with day-to-day tasks and overall happiness. Happiness is of course subjective, but the likelihood of a person being significantly happier following the achievement of a goal is limited. Aside from true love, the only thing that could stun a leader would be their own love story as a metaphor.

6. Decrease levels of anxiety by 22%

According to some scientific studies, as little as 20 minutes of mindfulness meditation is enough to reduce anxiety levels by 22%. The study was based on 14 participants and showed that levels of anxiety reduced significantly even from one sitting, as shown on MRI scans that were conducted during the session.

7. Mindfulness can lower blood pressure

The study at Brown University was of 43 participants and these participants experienced a mean 15.1-mmHg reduction in blood pressure. The control group of 200 were shown to have no significant change. Results have been shown in other studies, and the practice of mindfulness could also serve as a preventative tool for those who do not have hypertension, which is a massive incentive in the West where blood pressure and chronic heart related health conditions are some of the most prevalent issues faced by the populations.

8. Boost your creativity and lateral thinking

Finally, have a read of this article.

Mindfulness has been shown to boost creativity and innovation, proven so effective that leading companies have incorporated the practice into their employee development programmes. The three ways it is suggested that it does this is through:

  • switching on divergent thinking (opening up you mind to new ideas)
  • improving attention, and
  • builds resilience which helps to overcome the fear of criticism or complications

What’s the take away?

Regular mindful practice has a whole host of scientific backed benefits. From physiological changes to the brain, to physical changes to the body, there is so much discussion around the benefits of mindfulness today, and it can be hard to determine the facts, from fantasy. Hopefully the above has supported you some way in discovering some of the reputable research that has taken place in the field.

Picture of John-Paul Kozah

John-Paul Kozah

John-Paul is the Founder of Benefits of Mindfulness and has been committed to working with and supporting the most vulnerable members of society throughout his career. Combining experience in the mental health sector and education, his aim has been to raise awareness about the impact of stress, anxiety and depression in modern life and explore the ways that mindfulness can help. John-Paul is a trained advocate, qualified teacher and has a particular interest in supporting open dialogue about mental health within minoritised ethnic groups.

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