Mindfulness & THE BRAIN

"Did you see the moonwalking bear?"

What is mindfulness?

"Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment" (Mindfulness, 2017).

Why aren't we teaching you mindfulness?

+ Changes in brain structure



Studies have shown that the amygdala, known as our brain’s “fight or flight” center and the seat of our fearful and anxious emotions, decreases in brain cell volume after mindfulness practice (Wolkin, 2016).

Functions as self-regulatory processes, including the ability to monitor attention conflicts, and allow for more cognitive flexibility (Wolkin, 2016)

Increase in grey matter

Prefrontal Cortex

Increase grey matter in prefrontal cortex


Limbic system that governs learning and memory, and is extraordinarily susceptible to stress and stress-related disorders like depression or PTSD (Wolkin, 2016)

Increased cortical thickness
Let's practice!

Hölzel, B. K., Carmody, J., Vangel, M., Congleton, C., Yerramsetti, S. M., Gard, T., & Lazar, S. W. (2011, January 30). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004979/

Mindfulness Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2017, from http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition

Wolkin, J. (2016, May 06). How the Brain Changes When You Meditate. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from http://www.mindful.org/how-the-brain-changes-when-you-meditate/


Created with images by etheriel - "sea clouds the silence" • jarmoluk - "meditation boy nature"

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