Change Your Mind, Change the World

Center for Healthy Minds

University of Wisconsin–Madison
625 W. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703-2637
Directions and Parking
Learn More
FAQs

We get a lot of questions. Here are answers to our most popular.

Healthy Minds

Image by greenwatermelon via iStockPhoto

The rising popularity of online programs like Lumosity and in-person programs like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) signal a growing interest in meditation and other forms of mental training. Mirroring this groundswell of popular interest, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that meditation may impact both psychological and physical health, including our capacity to cope with stress and to regulate attention and emotional reactivity. This cultural paradigm shift calls for impactful well-being training programs that are accessible and based in rigorous science.

Center researchers are developing Healthy Minds to teach scientifically-informed practices and principles that facilitate well-being. In the same way that exercise and diet contribute to physical health, meditation and other forms of mental training can also be beneficial in contributing to mental health and well-being. We know that lasting well-being cannot be achieved by short-term interventions, but rather that enduring changes in the mind must be systematically cultivated and sustained. This can be accomplished by incorporating simple contemplative exercises into one’s daily routine and supporting these practices at home and in the workplace.

The project has brought together experts in the fields of science and contemplative practice to create a comprehensive program that will support individuals in the cultivation of well-being over the course of their lifespan. The training is pragmatic and experiential, integrating scientific insights with secular meditation practices that are easy to learn. These practices teach important skills that underlie the cultivation of well-being, including mindfulness, kindness, compassion and self-inquiry. This core training is supported by online and mobile apps, in-person programs led by senior scientists and meditation experts, and a variety of resources to reinforce the benefits of the training.

Our program is the first of its kind to incorporate rigorous scientific assessments into the very fabric of the training in order to further our understanding of the nature of well-being, how it can be cultivated, and the relationship between well-being and a variety of real-world outcomes.

People Working on This Study

CortlandDahl
Cortland Dahl
Research Scientist, Center for Healthy Minds & Chief Contemplative Officer, Healthy Minds Innovations
RichardDavidsonDirectory
Richard J. Davidson
Founder, Center for Healthy Minds & Healthy Minds Innovations, William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry
Matthew Hirshberg
Matt Hirshberg
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Healthy Minds
Abby Lindemann
Abby Lindemann
Postdoctoral Research Associate
ElenaPatsenko
Elena Patsenko
Research Scientist, Center for Healthy Minds
Christy Wilson Mendenhall
Christy Wilson-Mendenhall
Scientific Lead, Healthy Minds Program, Healthy Minds Innovations & Associate Scientist, Center for Healthy Minds
Donate Now
Donating =
Healthier Minds
Participate
Are you interested in taking part in scientific research?
Learn More