Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, and lead to more empathy, cognitive ability and an improvement in memory. A Harvard study showed that after eight weeks of mindfulness training, people’s brains showed a decrease in density in the amygdala, known to play a role in anxiety and stress.
As you become more aware of when you are present and mindful, self-awareness arises, Gaylord says. Similar to lifting weights or exercise, the more you work out, the more you understand your body, from its limits to what feels right. You apply the same technique to your mind.