More than thirty years of research confirm that mindfulness practice leads to:
- lower levels of physiological stress
- enhanced immune function
- healthier perspective-taking in times of difficulty
- greater self-awareness and compassion for others
- less emotional volatility
- a reduction in subconscious prejudice, automatic bias, and discrimination
- an improved ability to concentrate
- a higher tolerance for the risk associated with stepping outside the comfort zone to take constructive action
“Psychological studies have shown that the ability to de-center from one’s thoughts and feelings is linked to better mental health and wellbeing (Bernstein et al. 2015). Such mindful observations also gradually cultivate a person’s ability to withstand varied experiences. This is sometimes described as “being a master of the pathways of thought,” where one is no longer the subject of the mind but its master (Bodhi 2006, p. 38).
“Notably, neuroscientific investigations have shown that traumatic stresses can lead to adverse structural changes in the brain (Bremner et al. 2008; Popoli et al. 2011), whereas meditation and mindfulness practices lead to healthy structural changes in the brain (Hölzel et al. 2011; Simon and Engström 2015; Tang and Posner 2013).
“Practitioners of mindfulness have been found to report significantly higher levels of eudaimonic well-being than non-practitioners (Brown and Ryan 2003; Garland et al. 2015; Hanley et al. 2015). Eudaimonic well-being or happiness is described as a durable form of happiness that is not dependent on circumstances, and involves peace, wisdom and contentment (Brown and Ryan 2003; Dambrun and Ricard 2011; Hanley et al. 2015; Ryan and Deci 2001). “
excerpts from Theoretical Foundations to Guide Mindfulness Meditation: A Path to Wisdom. Karunamuni and Weerasekera,