Maybe you are already familiar with meditation. You maybe have heard that meditation is used by many people nowadays to increase wellbeing and health. A lot of very successful people meditate, and a very central aspect is mindfulness.
Mindfulness has been described as the basic human ability to be fully present; aware of where you are and what you’re doing, while being not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.
Over the last ten years, there has been an increasing number of neuroimaging studies investigating what is going on inside the brain when people meditate, and how mindfulness meditation can impact the way people react to feelings.
Britta Hölzel is a German neuroscientist and a mindfulness-based stress-reduction and yoga teacher. She conducts neuroimaging research to investigate the neural mechanisms of mindfulness practice. After five years as a research fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School, she is now associated with the Technical University in Munich.
In this episode we talk about mindfulness-based stress-reduction (MBSR)— a program that was developed by John Kabat-Zinn, and you will learn about the changes these techniques can elicit in the brains of practitioners. The main topic is going to be self-regulation, and, to be more precise, how meditation can help you improve your ability to regulate your attention and your feelings, as well as helping you to increase your body awareness.
Britta talks about her research findings, and what surprised and impressed her the most. In the Wim Hof Method, meditation is beautifully integrated. There are various reports of people finding it easier to meditate when they’ve done a breathing session.
After listening to this episode, you will understand your own ability to influence your body; for example, how you might impact the structure of your brain by the things you do, and the consequences you experience based on your decisions.