Many thousands of studies demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness have now been published, to the point where mindfulness can almost seem like a miracle cure. The problem is that not all of these studies were conducted well enough to be taken seriously.
Scientists have recently taken a step further in studying the biological mechanisms of MBIs by analyzing gene expression—a humble process that happens inside each and every one of our cells, by which DNA sequences are transcribed and translated into proteins.
If you’re familiar to meditation, then you’ve probably tried a basic loving-kindness practice. It involves bringing to mind someone you love, and wishing that they are safe, well, and happy—either out loud or to yourself.
Self-taught meditations and visualizations, journaling, and the practice of observing her thoughts and choosing healthier ones, were survival tools she used to navigate a chaotic family life and then, later, the anxiety-filled teenage years living on her own. She still uses them today.
While some of these reasons—stronger relationships, more happiness—have long been documented by studies that I and many others have conducted, research is also pointing to more ways in which gratitude works at work. Here are three surprising ways that gratitude pays off.