Effects of Mindfulness on the Nervous System

As human beings we have an inherent ability for mindfulness, and this nonjudgmental, inward attention of mindfulness naturally activates our parasympathetic nervous system, our bodies natural calming system, and supports several aspects of wellbeing.

Mindfulness strengthens our:

  • Insula

    • Which supports emotional regulation, perception and self awareness

  • Hippocampus

    • Which supports a stronger memory and strengthens our ability to reevaluate a potential threat

  • Prefrontal cortex

    • Which strengthens our ability for discernment, evaluation of consequences, and working toward a goal

  • Left frontal regions

    • Which produces a more uplifted mood


Meditation also:

  • Decreases cortisol, our bodies natural stress hormone

  • Strengthens the immune system


What are the aspects of mindfulness practice that directly impact on our bodies nervous system and support our tendency toward balance?

withdrawing attention from stressful matters

relaxing our bodies through mindful breathing

bringing awareness into the body


“…even a single breath from beginning to end - or a single step on the way to work - can be remarkably centering and calming”

Hanson and Mendius

Referenced from Buddha’s Brain

by Richard Hanson and Richard Mendius

Genuine Heart Counseling, LLC

Chandra Lontz-Smith, MA, LPC


16 Mountain View Ave, Suite 112

Longmont, CO, 80501

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