Change Your Mind, Change the World

Center for Healthy Minds

University of Wisconsin–Madison
625 W. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703-2637
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We get a lot of questions. Here are answers to our most popular.

Learning Well-Being

Given the brain’s ability to change in response to experience and training, our research suggests that just like learning to play an instrument, we can also learn well-being.

Center researchers are working in collaboration with experts in curriculum development, video games and apps in efforts to promote well-being, with a focus on areas such as childhood development and the workplace. To measure the impact of these tools, scientists devise novel assessments and unique ways to track what works, what doesn’t work – and why.

In addition, our researchers seek to understand the impact of existing well-being practices and tools on well-being. For instance, why do programs such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) work for some people but not for others? Can we parse why a particular well-being intervention is effective? Our scientists and scholars answer these questions by examining cognitive and emotional processes, neural mechanisms in the brain, epigenetic markers, physical health and inflammatory processes for commonly used practices.

Ongoing Studies

Classroom desk with apple by Andrea Carolina Sanchez Gonzalez via iStock
A Classroom-Based Training Program for Attention and Emotion Regulation

Assessing how mindfulness-based training works in classrooms, Center researchers are developing programs for students and children to learn more about how an integrated approach can promote well-being in schools.

Photo of hand sensor collecting pulse from Center for Healthy Minds
Brief Trainings to Buffer Against Acute Stress Effects

Center scientists are evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of brief trainings to buffer against the negative effects that acute stress has on behavior and cognitive abilities.

Two people holding hands by MichaelJay via iStockPhoto
Changing Your Brain and Generosity through Compassion Meditation Training

Center researchers investigated whether compassion – the feeling of caring for and wanting to help others who are suffering – could be cultivated through meditation training using an online intervention.

Closeup of illuminated water droplet by Jason Devaun via Flickr
Exploring Positive Qualities of Attention

Mindfulness shows promise for improving health, but unbiased tests, led by Center researchers, are needed.

Police Car Lights Chicco Dodi Fc I Stock
Exploring the Effects of Mindfulness Training on Police Officer Resilience and Well-Being

Center scientists are conducting a pilot study with the Madison Police Department to investigate the impact of an eight-week mindfulness training program on police officers' physical and mental health

School children playing Center for Healthy Minds game, Tenacity
Games to Teach Mindfulness and Compassion to Adolescents

Our researchers are developing and measuring the impact of video games to help children improve attention and develop pro-social behavior.

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Healthy Minds

Center researchers are developing a program to teach scientifically-informed practices and principles that facilitate well-being.

Rorschach test photo by denamazanikignatencko via iStockPhoto
Impact of Experiential Curricula and Methods to Nurture Well-Being

Center experts are developing assessments and tools that examine ways to cultivate well-being across a variety of people and contexts.

Adults lead Kindness Curriculum breathing exercise
Kindness Curriculum Study with Pre-Kindergarten Students

Center researchers are evaluating a mindfulness-based Kindness Curriculum in promoting attention, emotion regulation and pro-social behavior in children.

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Mapping the Interface between Meditation and Neuroscience

Center researchers and collaborators are building new approaches to understand the links between traditional contemplative perspectives and scientific theory to better study the scientific effects of meditation training on the brain, body, mind and behavior.

Photo of adult and child holding hands by pixelheadphoto via iStock
Mindfulness-Based Parenting Program

Center experts are researching the impact of a mindful parenting program to help address stressors and demands of parenting as well as promote positive and supportive parent-child interactions.

Photo of cleaning chalkboard by XiXinXing via iStock
Pre-Service Teachers Project

Center researchers are investigating possible ways to prevent teacher burnout in the classroom.

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Reducing Stress through Yoga for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

Center scientists are exploring the bodily changes associated with a specific type of yoga in individuals on the autism spectrum.

Photo of person planting seedling by weerapatkiatdumrong via iStockPhoto
Understanding the Mechanisms of Well-Being Training in Adults with and without Asthma

Center scientists and collaborators examine the impact of well-being training.

Military boots moving by ChrisSuperseal via iStockPhoto
Veteran Wellness Study

Center researchers are exploring how to improve the lives of veterans by expanding the range of treatments available for PTSD and learning more about the brain mechanisms involved in PTSD and its treatment.