Many studies have provided evidence of the benefits of mindfulness. A good summary of these studies can be found in a paper published by the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School titled 'Bringing Mindfulness to the Workplace' (Kimberly Schaufenbuel). An extract is provided below:
Harvard researchers demonstrated the impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) using magnetic resonance imaging (Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 2011). They found that "partipation in MBSR is associated with changes in grey matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referntial processes, and perspective taking" (Holzel et al 2011)
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson of the Centre for Investigating Healthy Minds (Madison, Wisc) also found that mindfulness chnages how the brain functions. His studies showed that mindfulness improves cognitive flexibility, creativity and innovation, well-being, emotional regaulation, and empathy (Mindful Brain staff, n.d.).
Other research has shown reduced levels of cortisol in the brain, a hormone related to stress (Gelles, 2012). Mindfulness can also lower blood pressure, increase the body's immune system, and provide emotional stability and sleep quality (Weaver, 2014).
Reseachers at John Hopkins conducted a meta-analysis of mindfulness studies and found evidence that improving mindfulness decreases anxiety level, depression, and pain.