How Meditation May Change the Brain is the title of an article by Sindya Bhanhoo that appeared today in the New York Times highlighting a study conducted by Britta Hölzel, a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and her colleagues that looked at changes due to the practice of meditation. Here’s an excerpt of the article referencing the study that will be appearing in the January 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging:
M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after the participants’ meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.
As the evidence mounts for measurable changes in the brain from practicing mindfulness meditation, and we already know that people report feeling differences (improved mood, less anxiety, better quality of life, reduced pain, etc) from practicing, and there is emerging evidence for other physiological effects arising out of meditation practice, the big question remains:
What still gets in the way of you practicing regularly?