What are the benefits of meditation and mindfulness?
Advertisers call on ‘science’ to help sell everything from stain remover and toothpaste to the latest drugs, diets
They cite research, present diagrams of the brain before-and-after meditation, and rattle off the names of various neuroscientists and their discoveries.
What you read (even in books on meditation) are often advertising spiels — rather than scientifically valid insights — however, there are grains of truth amongst all the hype.
Below, I list half a dozen of the well-validated benefits you might expect from meditation.
If you’ve taken a peek at the list below you might conclude that meditation is at least as good as most drugs! So what’s the catch?
The catch is, you have to meditate. And for that to happen, you have to want to meditate —which means the approach you choose has to suit you (otherwise you’ll probably give up).
In order to benefit from — and enjoy — meditation you’ll usually need two things:
Exposure to various techniques, styles
A skilled teacher to help you discover what keeps your practice from blossoming.
What the doctor says
Mindfulness helps to change the way you think and feel about your experiences, especially stressful experiences. It involves paying attention to your thoughts and feelings in order to become more aware of them, less enmeshed in them, and better able to manage them.