People who practice mindfulness say it fundamentally changes how they experience life. For the past 40 years, researchers have been attempting to explain this in biological terms. Studies reveal that mindfulness may reduce anxiety and depression, boost your immune system, help you manage pain, allow you to unhook from unhealthy habits and addictions, soothe insomnia, reduce high blood pressure, and even change the structure and function of your brain in positive ways—perhaps in as little as 8 weeks of practice.
The most respected scientists who study the effects of mindfulness practices emphasize that the research is in its infancy compared to many other fields. It will take years and decades before there is enough peer-reviewed study with active controls and long time frames to establish firm evidence of benefits. That said, the field is emerging and the research looks promising.
The Definition of Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
The Definition of Meditation: Meditation is exploring, not erasing, the present moment as it is. When we meditate, we venture into the workings of our minds: our…