7 Ways Mindfulness Literally Changes Your Brain

Mindfulness, while simple, is also so abstract in concept that it's understandable why one might dismiss any tangible benefits as anecdotal or simply too good to be true. When the human mind is so deeply framed by personal circumstance, how can the maxim of "observing your own thoughts" possibly manifest so concretely in reduced pain and better memory recall, for example?

But the ever-growing research around mindfulness doesn't just tell us that it is capable of these impressive changes in the mind and body, but also how: The practice of refocusing the brain—whether through breathing, meditation, or active methods like yoga and hiking—actually activates areas of the brain that deeply allay our stress response, including the sensation of physical pain. It's a remarkably simple prescription for a whole host of symptoms.

So how exactly does mindfulness benefit the brain? Keep reading to find out.