Country Living (UK)
CHANGES BRAIN STRUCTURE
Scientists in the US scanned the brains of people who did an eight-week mindfulness course and found grey matter density had increased in the hippocampus (the area associated with memory). It had also decreased in the amygdala – the fight or flight part of the brain – which correlated to a reduction in stress levels.
EASES CHRONIC PAIN
A 2016 US study found that meditation reduced pain ratings in participants by 24 per cent when intense heat was applied to the skin using a thermal probe. Another US study discovered that meditation improved symptoms by more than 60 per cent in those with chronic lower back pain.
HELPS WITH DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Group mindfulness treatment reduces depression and anxiety symptoms as effectively as cognitive behavioural therapy, according to a 2014 study by Lund University in Sweden.