The Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation
The page attempts to compile as many quality articles and scientific studies as possible on the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. One thing should be obvious here: unlike many pharmaceutical medical interventions used to treat various mental and physical ailments, practicing mindfulness and meditation has no downside and a very high potential upside. And it has never been easier to get started. (note)
The Primary Scientific Literature on the Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and Meditation and their effect on Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
"Mindfulness exerts positive effects on mental health among the general population mostly via improving emotion regulation. The training of mindfulness and emotion regulation may thus benefit mental health not only in clinical populations but also in the general population."
"These findings provide evidence that mindfulness meditation attenuates anxiety through mechanisms involved in the regulation of self-referential thought processes"
Mindfulness and Meditation and their effect on Attention, Focus, Self-Regulation, and Memory
"5 days of 20-min integrative training showed greater improvement in conflict scores on the Attention Network Test, lower anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue, and higher vigor on the Profile of Mood States scale, a significant decrease in stress-related cortisol, and an increase in immunoreactivity."
The Impact of Intensive Mindfulness Training on Attentional Control, Cognitive Style, and Affect
Mindfulness and Meditation and their effect on Brain Chemistry and Structure
"Brain regions associated with attention, interoception and sensory processing were thicker in meditation participants than matched controls, including the prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula. Between-group differences in prefrontal cortical thickness were most pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation might offset age-related cortical thinning. Finally, the thickness of two regions correlated with meditation experience. These data provide the first structural evidence for experience-dependent cortical plasticity associated with meditation practice."
Mindfulness and Meditation and their effect on Physiology
"Use of TM [transcendental meditation] for 16 weeks in CHD [coronoary heart disease] patients improved blood pressure and insulin resistance components of the metabolic syndrome as well as cardiac autonomic nervous system tone compared with a control group receiving health education. These results suggest that TM may modulate the physiological response to stress and improve CHD risk factors, which may be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of CHD."
Mindfulness and Meditation and their effect on Weight Loss and Eating Behaviors
"Overall, it is concluded that while mindfulness meditations that specifically focus on eating may be extremely helpful in promoting better eating behaviours, and assist in weight regulation, work is still needed to make such interventions appeal to a wider audience."
What else the Scientific Literature Says:
"Existing work under the umbrella of emotion regulation, mindfulness and acceptance, neuropsychology, and social, personality, and developmental psychology offers insights into the nature, correlates, and consequences of flexibility. Human beings have the potential to better tolerate and effectively use emotions, thoughts, and behavior to extract the best possible outcomes in varying situations. This wide range of dynamic abilities forms the essence of health. After all, a healthy person is someone who can manage themselves in the uncertain, unpredictable world around them, where novelty and change are the norm rather than the exception. In many forms of psychopathology, these flexibility processes are absent. If interventions to increase flexibility can be informed by strong basic science, we believe there great untapped potential to aid people suffering from pathology, as well help highly functioning people find greater efficacy and fulfillment in their daily lives."
Articles on the Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation
Articles on Mindfulness and Meditation and their effect on the Mind and Body
Other websites that have gathered a large volume of scientific literature on the on the benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation
A physician or clinical therapist who knows your health history will always be in the best position to advise you on what steps to take when it comes to treating illness. Medication and other therapies can provide immense benefit and in no way should be shunned in favor of only mindfulness or meditation. Instead, mindfulness and meditation should be used as an adjunct to medical intervention when possible.