What is mindfulness and how it benefits your brain and body? 3 science-backed videos from Harvard and MIT

#1. Short (5-minutes) video by Jon Kabat-Zinn, MIT professor and the founder of world-known  mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program. In the talk he explains the concept of mindfulness.

Interesting quote: “Mindfulness is paying attention in the present moment on purpose non-judgmentally”

#2. Ellen Jane Langer is a professor of psychology at Harvard University. In that inspiring 25-minutes video she reveals some mind-blowing consequences of acting mindlessly or mindfully.

Interesting quote: “We are frequently in error when we are mindless, but rarely in doubt”.

#3. “Now and Zen”. Harvard Medical School conducted a highly educational seminar on the subject of mindfulness. Lucky for is it was recorded. You may find the link on the video below. The whole recording is 1,5 hours. To save your time, I’d recommend the following pieces:

21:37-29:28
Dr. John Denninger from Harvard Medical School, explains the health benefits of mindfulness. For example, how genes expression (“good” and “bad” genes being turned on and off) may be affected by mindfulness practice. The results can be achieved after 8 weeks of regular meditation (20 minutes a day).

40:00-1:08:01 
David Vago, PhD, Harvard Medical School explains what exactly is happening in your brain when you’re practicing mindfulness. It’s a bit of a technical talk, with brain images, schemes and color-coding, but extremely insightful. Interesting quote: “Mindfulness is not only described as a state of awareness, but also as a systematic form of mental training <…> You go to the gym to exercise to build your muscles, by practicing meditation you’re building and flexing your mental muscles”

1:10:30-1:24:00 
Sara Lazar, Assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, elaborates on the benefits of meditation for your brain. Interesting quote: “The 50-years old meditators had the same amount of grey matter as the 25-years olds, suggesting the meditation can actually slow down or prevent normal cognitive decline in the brain (as we get older)”

Remark: I normally watch all educational YouTube videos on 1,25-1,5 speed, which helps to save the time, but I’m really doing my best not to multitask while I’m watching. Full attention, or why do it at all? 🙂

11 Replies to “What is mindfulness and how it benefits your brain and body? 3 science-backed videos from Harvard and MIT”

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