Is meditation effective? The scientific verdict.

The Newfound Acceptance of Meditation: How Science is Changing Our Minds About this Ancient Practice

As a neuroscientist researching meditation at the University of California, Berkeley, Kathryn Devaney has witnessed a significant shift in attitudes towards meditation over the past twenty years. In the past, when she mentioned her meditation practice, people would often react negatively, associating it with cult-like behavior. However, in recent years, there has been a noticeable change in perception, with more people expressing interest in meditation and acknowledging its potential benefits.

One of the main reasons for this shift is the growing body of research supporting the health benefits of meditation. Studies conducted by researchers like Sara Lazar at Harvard University have shown that meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety. In one study, volunteers participated in either a mindfulness-based stress reduction program or an exercise-based program. The results showed that those who practiced mindfulness meditation experienced a reduction in anxiety symptoms similar to those who engaged in light aerobic exercises.

Meditation helps relieve stress and anxiety by increasing awareness and promoting relaxation. Through practices like breathing exercises, individuals can learn to control their thoughts and emotions, leading to a calmer and more focused state of mind. As more people become aware of these benefits, the popularity of meditation continues to grow, with many now recognizing its positive impact on mental and emotional well-being.

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