Gratitude

Understanding

Mindfulness

Did you know that our brains are just as effective as our bodies when fighting off illness? A study of the brain conducted by Dr. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that after just eight weeks of training, practicing mindfulness boosts our immune system’s ability to fight off illness. Given this, it’s a little strange that mindfulness—paying attention to whatever you’re thinking, feeling, or sensing in a given movement—isn’t universally seen as more than just meditation.

In fact, a Harvard Medical School study reported that mindfulness increases the activity on areas of the brain linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy. This direct relationship to empathy means that you are more likely to help someone in need and understand the suffering of others when you are practicing mindfulness. Imagine what society could be if mindfulness became more of a priority.

How do you find connections between mindfulness and gratitude? What would things look like if you paid a little bit more attention? Find out more about mindfulness below and share Gratitude Revealed with your friends and family!

The science behind mindfulness

We have partnered with UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center to provide you with these scientific facts. Click on an item below to expand and reveal more.

It means paying attention to whatever you’re thinking, feeling, or sensing in a given moment, without judging those thoughts or feelings as “good” or “bad.”
Research suggests that mindfulness increases positive emotions while reducing negative emotions and stress. At least one study has found that it may be as good as antidepressants in fighting depression.
Harvard Medical School study found that, after eight weeks of practice, mindfulness increases the density of gray matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy.
Research suggests it makes us more likely to help someone in need and increases activity in brain networks involved in understanding the suffering of others.
Studies suggest it helps us tune out distractions and improves our memory and attention skills.
Dozens of studies have suggested that it could improve students’ grades, social skills, and behavior, and that it might help reduce stress and burnout among teachers as well.

HERE ARE 3 EXERCISES, PROVIDED BY UC BERKELEY'S GREATER GOOD SCIENCE CENTER, TO HELP YOU CULTIVATE MINDFULNESS RIGHT NOW

self compassion break exercise