What scientists found was that mindfulness had a very positive effect particularly on three areas of the brain linked with our emotional centre (Baime, 2011; Ireland, 2014).
These three areas are the:
- cortex: regulates thinking and reason (Graham, 2008) and is the part of our brain most recent to evolve – our ‘organ’ of consciousness and what makes us homo sapiens (McGill, n.d.)
- hippocampus: integrates perceptions and emotions into memory, especially long-term memory (Siegel, 2015; Graham, 2008)
- amygdale (there are two): respond to perceptions of fear and activate the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism (Graham, 2008) so whatever event stimulates the amygdale will surely cause a knee-jerk reaction
Since the brain is highly complex and its complexities are way beyond my scope of knowledge, for the sake of understanding and simplification I’ll concentrate on these three areas as applied to trauma and human development.