Science and mindfulness meditation

Scientific research has demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness meditation on well being and health.

Stress

Stress is the normal reaction of our body facing imminent danger. This reaction is perfectly appropriate when facing a physical threat, preparing us for a flight-or-fight response. But it is far less appropriate when facing the constraints and uncertainties in our private or professional lives.

Several studies show that meditation activates parasympathetic functions of our organism, help regulate amygdala activity and develops areas of our brain in charge of emotions regulation.

Meditation has an important impact on stress perception and on its physical symptoms.

Creativity

Meditation improves divergent thinking, which is at the core of the creative process and enables generation of creative ideas. With its impact on concentration, also demonstrated in  several studies, meditation also fosters more efficiency in creative tasks, which can be affected by parasitic thoughts or emotions.

Concentration

Research demonstrated that meditation created structural changes in parts of the brain involved in managing concentration.

People practicing meditation are able to concentrate longer on a given activity, and let tasks fragmentation impact less their performance.

Anxiety

Many studies demonstrate the benefits of meditation on stress and anxiety, including in cases reaching a level qualified by MDs as morbid.

Relationships

Research shows that meditation improve relationships and communication.

Meditation can improve you capacity to build and strengthen relationships with others. With more self-confidence and self-esteem, you will be able to accept people as they are and will be more able to build profound and long-standing relationships.

Sources

Stress management
  1. Goldin, P. & Gross, J. (2010). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder. Emotion. 10, 1. 83-91.
  2. Hölzel, B., Carmody, J., Vangel, M., Congleton, C., Yerramsetti, S., Gard, T. & Lazar, S. (2011) Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Neuroimaging. 191. 36-43.
  3. Mackenzie, C., Poulin, P. & Seidman-Carlson, R. (2006). A brief mindfulnessbased stress reduction intervention for nurses and nurse aides. Applied Nursing Research. 19, 2. 105-10.
Creativity
  1. Ostafin, B. & Kassman, K. (2012). Stepping out of history: Mindfulness improves insight problem solving. Consciousness and Cognition. 21, 2. 1031 – 1036.
  2. Colzato, L., Ozturk, A. & Hommel, B. (2012). Meditate to create: the impact of focused-attention and open-monitoring training on convergent and divergent thinking. Front. Psychology. 3, 116.
  3. Greenberg, J., Reiner, K. & Meiran, N. (2012). “Mind the Trap”: Mindfulness Practice Reduces Cognitive Rigidity. 7, 5.
Concentration
  1. Levy, D., Wobbrock, J., Kaszniak, A. & Ostergren, M. (2012). The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation Training on Multitasking in a High-Stress Information Environment. Proceedings of Graphics Interface. 45-52.
  2. MacLean, K. A., Ferrer, E., Aichele, S. R., Bridwell, D. A., Zanesco, A. P., Jacobs, T. L., Saron, C. D. (2010). Intensive Meditation Training Improves Perceptual Discrimination and Sustained Attention. Psychological Science. 21, 6. 829-839.
    Jha, A. P., Stanley, E. A., Kiyonaga, A., Wong, L., & Gelfand, L. (2010).
  3. Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience. Emotion. 10, 1. 54-64.
  4. Tang, Y., Lu, Q., Geng, X., Stein, E. A., Yang, Y., & Posner, M. (2010). Short-term meditation induces white matter changes in the anterior cingulate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107, 35. 15649-15652.
Relationships
  1. Wachs, K. & Cordova, J. (2007). Mindful Relating: Exploring Mindfulness and Emotion Repertoires in Intimate Relationships. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 33, 4. 464 – 481.
  2. Barnes, S. et al., (2007). The role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfaction and responses to relationship stress. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 33, 4. 482-500.
  3. Dekeyser, M., Raes, F., Leijssen, M., Leysen, S. & Dewulf, D. (2008). Mindfulness skills and interpersonal behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences. 44, 5. 1235 – 1245.
  4. Carson, J., Carson, K., Gil, K. & Baucom, D. (2004). Mindfulness-Based Relationship Enhancement. Behavior Therapy. 35, 3. 471 – 494.