Meditators with consistent, longstanding practices tend to become calmer and less reactive. Recent neuroscience studies using functional MRIs (FMRI) have shown that meditation changes the structure of the brain, increasing the capacity to process feelings and thus reducing the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed. Initially documented in the social sciences, neuroscientists have recently documented positive effects on the structure of the brain, emotional and physical health and cognitive functioning. This may be the reason we become happier, calmer and less reactive.
There are thousands of scientific articles that demonstrate the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation for healing and managing a wide variety of emotional and physical challenges. Virtually every form of emotional distress can find relief from increased mindfulness. The first benefit most people realize is finding more space in their day. They notice they take moments of awareness that are respites from their busyness. They feel a deeper connection to themselves and the world around them. They become less reactive, anxious and preoccupied with unintended thought.