Science says even a little bit of mindfulness can pack a positive punch. Mindfulness. And you don’t need a long meditation practice to experience a decrease in physical pain and negativity.
Merely a brief introduction to mindfulness helps people deal with physical pain and negative emotions, a new study by researchers at Yale, Columbia, and Dartmouth shows.
The effect of mindfulness was so pronounced, they found, that even when participants were subjected to high heat on their forearm, their brain responded as if it was experiencing normal temperature.
“It’s as if the brain was responding to warm temperature, not very high heat,” said Yale’s Hedy Kober, associate professor of psychiatry and psychology and corresponding author of the paper, which appeared in the journal Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience.
Mindfulness — the awareness and acceptance of a situation without judgment — has been shown to have benefits in treating many conditions such as anxiety and depression. But Kober and colleagues wanted to know whether people with no formal training in meditation and mindfulness might benefit from a brief 20-minute introduction into mindfulness concepts.
Participants in the study were tested in two contexts while undergoing brain imaging scans — one for assessing response to physical pain induced