The Science of Mindful Well-Being
Some of these gains have been tied to individual well-being, others are relational, and many appear to be intertwined. What truly is the science behind mindfulness and the evidence base supporting its use?
Satisfaction In Life
Well-being is a skill that can be learned and practiced
Mindfulness is an effective tool for managing stress
Happiness, Joy and Contentment Can Be Cultivated
Well-Being is a Skill that Can Be Learned and Practiced
“The more we understand ourselves and our emotions, the more we can do to create a kinder, wiser, more compassionate world.”
Mindfulness is an Effective Tool for Managing Stress
Dan Siegel, M.D. clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine explains, thanks to breakthroughs in brain imagining technology, we can actually see how training our attention in a purposeful way actually changes the size and structure of certain areas of the brain, particularly those responsible for managing emotions like anger, fear, frustration, and sadness.
“Inviting our thoughts and feelings into awareness allows us to learn from them, rather than be driven by them.”
The promise of mindfulness as an effective tool for navigating the continuum of stress - from momentary, short term stress to longer term, toxic, or systemic stress - has fueled the proliferation of increasingly rigorous research into its use and benefits.
While we should mind the hype touting contemplative practices as a cure-all, the evidence showing the efficacy of mindfulness for decreasing reactivity to stressors and the ability to recover better from stress - in other words, the ability to cultivate resiliency - is robust.
Siegel, D. J. (2009). Mindful awareness, mindsight, and neural integration. The Humanistic Psychologist, 37(2), 137-158. doi:http://dx.doi.org.mmu.ezproxy.switchinc.org/10.1080/08873260902892220
Sigel, D. J. (2010). Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. New York: Bantam Books