Meditation has become part of a growing trend to encourage society to be more mindful, but does it make you a better person?
The latest research reviewing over 20 studies on the subject seems to suggest that though the activity may make people feel moderately more compassionate or empathetic, there is no evidence to suggest that it reduces aggression, prejudice, or social connectivity. The research published today in Scientific Reports has also discovered methodological weakness and bias,
Dr Miguel Farias, from Coventry University’s Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science, has commented in a statement; “The popularisation of meditation techniques, like mindfulness, despite being taught without religious beliefs, still seems to offer the hope of a better self and a better world to many. We wanted to investigate how powerful these techniques were in affecting one’s feelings and behaviours towards others.”
The findings revealed that most of the positive benefits of meditation disappeared when compared to activities such as yoga or Tai-Chi which suggests the benefits are not exclusive to the practice of mindfulness, and results would differ when the meditation teacher was an author in the study, suggesting that researchers may be unintentionally biasing their results.
Meditation might still be a great way to relax and reduce stress, but as for making you a more compassionate individual, there seems to be little difference between this activity and other calming hobbies.
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