What the Recent Harvard Study Says About Meditation

What the Harvard Meditation Study Did

Over 8 weeks, participants spent an average of 27 minutes per day dedicated to the three mindfulness practices. To put it quite simply, the results were astonishing, and all the participants had no real prior experience with meditation or mindfulness.

What the Harvard Meditation Study Found

1. An Increase in Mindfulness

Compared to the control group, the mindfulness practitioners experienced significant increases in measurements of mindfulness (acting with awareness). Awareness of themselves and their surroundings, and furthermore, being nonjudgemental, both improved.

2. An Increase in Gray Matter

In just 8 weeks, the size of the brain grew in the mindfulness and meditation group. But most strikingly, the left hippocampus increased measurably in size as a direct result of the mindfulness training program. Notably, this part of the brain is responsible for regulating emotion and lowering stress.

Furthermore, numerous studies have shown this particular region of the brain to be larger-than-normal in experienced meditators.

Conversely, a small left hippocampus has been linked to major depression, PTSD, a reduction in the brain’s ability to create new cells, and other stress and emotion-related issues.

3. Affect on Work And Home Life

And finally, scientists observed enduring changes to the structure of the brain caused by this program. Just a little bit of meditation and mindfulness over a very short period of time suggested markedly improved mental functioning. Participants were more present and less robotic when doing activities, at both work and at home.

Learning, memory, and self-awareness were all improved, but so were stress and emotion-management.

What Mindfulness Program Did the Harvard Meditation Study Use?

This specific 8-week study consisted of weekly meetings that lasted for 2.5 hours each, and a 1-day retreat on the sixth week of the program.

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Gratitude is the most important human emotion because it alone determines the quality of our life. This film is a roadmap back to our grateful hearts.