Studies related to mindfulness and meditation so far suggest that focused attention tends to improve psychological well-being. It does so by reframing our relationship to one’s own self, toning down reactions to stressful events, nurturing positive emotions, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and above all improving generalized sense of well-being.
One recent study published in Neuroimage (2017) suggested that focused attention decreases activity in Default Network Mode (DMN) area of the brain. One interesting aspect of this study was that researchers found reduced activity in DMN in both inward mindful attention (such as Awareness of Breath) and Outward Attention (such as paying attention to a sound).
Previous studies have indicated that reduced activity in DMN is associated with reduced mind-wandering, increased creativity and a healthier sense of self, which translates into a better psychological well-being. Reduced mind-wandering has been found to be associated with longer telomere length and consequent increased longevity and protection against age-related illnesses and increased happiness.