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New book by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson describes four reasons why long-term meditation can lead to profound improvements in our minds, brains, and bodies

Mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion is every­where these days. From the class­room to the board room, peo­ple are jump­ing on the mind­ful­ness band­wag­on, hop­ing to dis­cov­er for them­selves some of its promised ben­e­fits, like bet­ter focus, more har­mo­nious rela­tion­ships, and less stress.

I too have start­ed a mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion prac­tice and have found it to be help­ful in my every­day life. But, as a sci­ence writer, I still have to won­der: Is all of the hype around mind­ful­ness run­ning ahead of the sci­ence? What does the research real­ly say about mind­ful­ness?  Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) beat usual care for chronic back pain

behavioral healthStudy finds mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion offers relief for low-back pain (NIH release):

Mind­ful­ness based stress reduc­tion (MBSR) and cog­ni­tive-behav­ioral ther­a­py (CBT) may prove more effec­tive than usu­al treat­ment in alle­vi­at­ing chron­ic low-back pain, accord­ing to Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 recent scientific studies on the value of mindfulness in education

mindfulness_schools

More and more stud­ies are show­ing the poten­tial ben­e­fits of mind­ful­ness prac­tices for stu­dents –to improve phys­i­cal health, psy­cho­log­i­cal well-being, social skills, even aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance in some cas­es– as well as for teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tors –pri­mar­i­ly to reduce stress and burnout–.

To give you an update on the land­scape of sci­en­tif­ic research about the role of mind­ful­ness in edu­ca­tion, here goes our selec­tion of ten recent stud­ies, all of them recent ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als, with brief descrip­tions of each Read the rest of this entry »

Under what conditions can mindfulness courses help health care workers manage stress and burnout?

stressed_nurseMed­ical pro­fes­sion­als are bur­dened dai­ly with the pain and suf­fer­ing of patients. Many work long hours, and reg­u­lar­ly face stress­ful sit­u­a­tions. This bur­den does not come with­out con­se­quence: 60 per­cent of physi­cians report hav­ing expe­ri­enced burnout at some point in their careers.

Mind­ful­ness cours­es designed to help health care work­ers Read the rest of this entry »

Meditation can Change the Structure of the Brain

(Editor’s Note: We are pleased to bring you this arti­cle by Jason Marsh, thanks to our col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Greater Good Mag­a­zine.)

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I con­sid­er myself some­thing of a prospec­tive meditator—meaning that a seri­ous med­i­ta­tion prac­tice is always some­thing I’m about to start… next week. So for years, I’ve been mak­ing a men­tal note of new stud­ies show­ing that med­i­ta­tion can lit­er­al­ly change our brain struc­ture in ways that might boost con­cen­tra­tion, mem­o­ry, and pos­i­tive emo­tions.

The results seem entic­ing enough to make any­one drop into the full lotus position—until you read the fine print: Much of this research involves peo­ple who have med­i­tat­ed for thou­sands of hours over many years; some of it zeroes in on Olympic-lev­el med­i­ta­tors who have clocked 10,000 hours or more. Pret­ty daunt­ing.

Well, a new study offers some hope—and makes the ben­e­fits of med­i­ta­tion seem with­in reach even for a novice like me. The study, pub­lished in Jan­u­ary in the jour­nal Psy­chi­a­try Research: Neu­roimag­ing, sug­gests that med­i­tat­ing for just 30 min­utes a day for eight weeks can increase the den­si­ty of gray mat­ter in brain regions asso­ci­at­ed with mem­o­ry, stress, and empa­thy. Read the rest of this entry »

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