Cognitive Benefits Of Mindfulness Training

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“Pay attention!” is snapped at the 8th grade boy in Montana, the young taekwondo student in Korea, the inattentive boyfriend in Brazil, the crime investigator in France. This phrase can be utilized and interpreted in a myriad of ways, so how can one know what is truly meant by the word attention? According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, attention can be broken into two actions of cognition – focusing and monitoring. The former targets the mind’s ability to focus on a single idea, emotion, or phenomenon while also blocking out diversions; this focusing attention is what is requested of children in classrooms who must focus on what their teacher is saying. Conversely, the latter type of attention is the process of monitoring thoughts, feelings, and sensations …show more content…
One of the first clinical uses of mindfulness training was in an eight-week program meant to decrease chronic pain. Other physical benefits of participating in mindfulness meditation include cell longevity, increased visual reaction times, and an influx in the number of folds in the cerebral cortex. There is also a correlation between mindfulness and the immune system. Mindfulness training reduces the blood levels of pro-inflammatory proteins; this can lead to lower risks of inflammatory diseases in adults. Cognitive benefits of mindfulness training include lower depression relapse rates, increased “readiness” of neurons, a stronger working memory, and better mood control. Additionally, mindfulness training strongly increases cognitive focus which allows for memories to be kept in short-term memory for a longer period of time; this mental benefit is one that can be helpful in multiple lines of work, notably in military and medical jobs. Mindfulness training clearly has many benefits and has actually been proven to be better than both video games and medication at sharpening focus; however, most experimental testing of mindfulness training has been done in small groups, and therefore there is a chance these results may not apply to society as a

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