Our brain’s gray matter can change in shape and size (for the better!) after just eight weeks of practicing meditation.
16 participants took part in an eight-week meditation practice at The University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness (est.1979!) (more info HERE). The participants meditated “on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings, and state of mind” and also incorporated mindful yoga and movement. They practiced daily guided mediation via audio recordings at-home, and went to weekly two and half hour group mindful meditation practices. In the end, study participants reported spending an average of 27 minutes each day practicing mindfulness meditation. Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital used MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) to take pictures of the participants’ brains two weeks before and two weeks after the program.
The results demonstrated increased gray matter density in the hippocampus, a brain area for learning and memory, self-awareness, compassion, and introspection. Also, participants who reported decreased stress levels also showed associated decreased gray matter density in the amygdala, a brain known for anxiety and stress. Full article HERE. much love.