You’ve probably heard a lot of mindfulness meditation in these past few years. It can improve your decision making. It focuses attention. It helps you be less influenced by others. All kinds of good stuff. And a new study sheds some light on why this might be.
A study published in PLOS One has found that forty-five minutes of daily meditation can change the psychological function of your brain. Researchers had a group of students without any meditation experience complete an eight week mindfulness meditation program (here’s an eight-minute version you can try yourself). The group was tested before an after—their brains were scanned, and they completed some psychological testes related to worry, anxiety, and depression.
They found that actual structures in the brain altered after the eight weeks of meditation training. Specifically, there was a thickening in the right insula and the somatosensory cortex, areas responsible for social emotions and touch. The students also had improved results on their tests for worry, anxiety, and depression.
So, perhaps it’s time to look into starting your day with meditation. It may be the gift you give yourself.
Photo courtesy of flickr.