"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Can Mindfulness Change Your Mind?

Much has been written in regards to the advantages of mindfulness. There is research showing that it might combat stress, relieve chronic pain, and even improve eyesight. Mood, pondering and memory. But how does it actually work? Does mindfulness actually produce detectable changes within the brain?

Mindfulness improves focus.

In a ___ A recently published studyResearchers on the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, set out to analyze how mindfulness can improve your ability to focus. To do that, they analyzed data from 81 healthy adults over the age of 60 who evaluated each the immediate effects of an eight-week mindfulness intervention, and the long-term effects on attention and brain physiology six months later. participated in a randomized controlled trial to take

They found that age-matched adults randomized to the mindfulness intervention showed sustained improvements in attention—improvements that were maintained at a six-month follow-up visit. They also observed changes in brain physiology related to improved attention.

Observing brain activity with EEG

To measure brain physiology, they observed the brain's electrical activity using electroencephalography, often known as EEG. An EEG is analogous to what you've almost definitely had at one point in your life: an electrocardiogram, or ECG. As you could recall, whenever you had an ECG, electrodes were placed in your chest to measure the electrical activity of your heart. In an EEG, electrodes are placed in your scalp to measure brain activity.

Now, these researchers weren't really eager about all of the activity occurring within the brain. They desired to deal with brain activity related to attention. To do that, they recorded EEGs while participants were performing an attention task. The task consisted of locating pairs of various letters that were of various sizes as quickly and accurately as possible. Each time a pair appeared on the screen, they marked the right time on the EEG recording. They then averaged all 60 times that a particular goal letter pair appeared on the screen and compared this brain activity to other letter pairs. This comparison allowed the researchers to exactly measure the precise brain activity related to attention.

Bottom up and top down

Australian researchers found that two various kinds of brain processes were enhanced by mindfulness.

First, mindfulness training increased the efficiency of brain pathways that process information from the senses. In other words, increased attention helped participants. Verbatim View information more precisely. Scientists often seek advice from such improvements in sensory abilities as enhancing “bottom-up” processing.

Second, mindfulness training also increases the brain's ability to deal with information of interest. This implies that participants were capable of deal with the duty and ignore distractions. These sorts of control processes that allocate attention are sometimes called “top-down” processes.

Be careful

Now you understand how mindfulness training improves one aspect of pondering—attention—at the extent of brain physiology. This implies that by specializing in the current moment, making a mindful awareness of sensations, and taking note of the rise and fall of the breath, you’ll be able to actually change your mind's focus and consider the world in the fitting way. Can improve understanding.

It was thought that the pondering components that make up your IQ, equivalent to attention, were relatively fixed because they rely on how your brain works. However, with studies like this one, we now understand that that is an old-fashioned idea. By practicing cognitive skills like mindfulness, you’ll be able to literally change your mind, your brain, and your IQ.