Buddhists have meditated for literally thousands of years. Buddhists are trying to hack their own minds, to harness them.
Only in recent times have neuroscientists discovered that meditation changes the brain physically.
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Practitioners of mindful meditation focus their attention on only one thought. The goal is to be firmly affixed to the present moment. This typically means concentrating on the breath - observing each inhalation and exhalation - and without consideration to other thoughts.
Long-term, consistent meditation mindfulness changes our ability to handle stress in a better, more sustainable way.