After looking through (did not read the whole thing because the medical terminology got too thick for me) an article called “Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density” I have to say I am becoming even more impressed with the brain’s innate ability to heal itself.
In a controlled study, 16 people had magnetic resonance (MR) images done before and after attending an 8 week “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” program. Evidently the MR images confirmed increases in gray matter concentration within the left hippocampus, suggesting that participation in MBSR is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, and perspective.
HMMMM … maybe I better get off my computer and into some mindfulness meditation!
Now I don’t know what processes the participants in this particular study went through, so I am going to just make a point of taking a few minutes to notice and sense everything I can about some every day things I do. For example, if I am doing some weeding in the yard I will use all my senses to feel (sense of touch) how the dirt and weeds feel, Smell the dirt and the weeds, notice the sound my trowel makes as I dig in the dirt, and pay close attention to what the plant and dirt look like. This takes me away from the sometimes overactive part of the brain that uses language, and judgement.
When involved in this exercise try to remain objective, for example if you normally react with disgust to creepy crawlies, make a point of just examining the creepy crawly without attaching an emotion to it.