© Andy Ramdin
Studies find meditation provides lasting emotional control, cultivates compassion, reduces pain sensitivity, boosts multitasking and more…
Meditation is about way more than just relaxing.
In fact, if I listed the following mental benefits from a new pill or potion, you'd be rightly sceptical.
But all these flow from a simple activity which is completely free, involves no expensive equipment, chemicals, apps, books or other products.
I've also included my own very brief meditation instructions below to get you started.
But first, what are all these remarkable benefits?
1. Lasting emotional control
Meditation may make us feel calmer while we're doing it, but do these benefits spill over into everyday life?
Desborders et al. (2012)
scanned the brains of people taking part in an 8-week meditation program, before and after the course.
While they were scanned, participants looked at pictures designed to elicit positive, negative and neutral emotional responses.
After the meditation course, activation in the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain, was reduced to all pictures. This suggests that meditation can help provide lasting emotional control, even when you are not meditating.