The Science Behind Meditation
How can mindfulness meditation help you?
For thousands of years, meditators have claimed many benefits for their practice. Our experience, and that of Headspace members, suggests that regular mindfulness practice, through meditation, is an effective treatment for stress, worry, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and more. It leads to peace of mind and wellbeing, greater focus and creativity and better relationships.
Now scientists are finding evidence supporting many of these claims. You can read about their discoveries by clicking on the topics shown above.
According to neuroscientists as you continue to meditate your brain physically changes, even though you’re not aware of it re-shaping itself.
Mindfulness meditation activates the ‘Rest and Digest’ part of our nervous system helping with stress management.
Research has found meditation to promote ‘Divergent Thinking’ a type of thinking that allows many new ideas to be generated.
Mindfulness also affects awareness and the filtering out of other mental processes during creative tasks.
Neuroscientists have also found that, after just 11 hours of meditation, practitioners had structural changes in the part of the brain involved in monitoring our focus and self control.
Researchers have found that, compared with the people who didn’t meditate, ‘those trained in meditation stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches’.
Research from 163 different studies suggested that mindfulness-meditation practice had an overall positive effect on improving anxiety and stress.
Research in people with clinical levels of anxiety has found that 90% experienced significant reductions in anxiety.
Research with married couples has found that increased mindfulness through meditation improved marital quality and communication.
Meditation can improve relationships with everyone you meet.
You become more comfortable with yourself, which makes it easier for others to get on with you, and you find it easier to accept them as they are.
What others are saying.
“Andy Puddicombe is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food”
- New York Times