Meditation: different approaches, different benefits

April 19, 2018

(HealthDay)—Deep breathing is a great stress reliever, and the technique called mindfulness meditation is a helpful way to use breathing to get more in touch with your inner self.

People who meditate say they feel more positive, and have more energy and better concentration.

There's more than one way to tap meditation's benefits—through variations in technique. A study published in the journal Mindfulness looked at what can be gained from a few popular approaches.

Body scan. With body scan meditation, you focus on each body part, one at a time, from your head to your feet. When paired with focused , sharply reduced their number of negative thoughts, and thoughts about the future and the past. Body scan can help you feel more centered and focused on the "now."

Loving-kindness. This type of meditation helps you deepen positive feelings for a loved one as well as for yourself, your extended social circle, and beyond. This type of meditation led to the greatest boost in participants' feelings of warm, positive thoughts about others. It can be a good approach if you're facing interpersonal conflicts.

Observing-thought. This type of meditation teaches you to recognize and define thoughts—as negative or positive, for instance—without becoming absorbed in them. This practice helped participants become more aware of both thoughts and judgmental attitudes they held toward others. It also can stop rumination—the habit of repetitively going over distressing situations in your mind.

While in general can help you feel more relaxed, different types offer additional benefits. Experiment to find those that bring you closer to your personal improvement goals.

Explore further: Meditation's soothing effects

More information: For more on choosing a type of mindful meditation, see How to Choose a Type of Mindfulness Meditation.

Related Stories

Meditation's soothing effects

August 22, 2017
(HealthDay)—Meditation has been embraced by cultures around the world for thousands of years.

Yoga and meditation improve brain function and energy levels

September 6, 2017
Practicing brief sessions of Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation can significantly improve brain function and energy levels, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.

Meditation has limited role in making you a better person, says study

February 5, 2018
For decades many people have claimed meditation can change how we behave towards others and make us more compassionate.

Six common misconceptions about meditation

March 19, 2018
Meditation has been hailed as a way to boost mental health, help chronic pain, reduce stress and build a new appreciation for the world around us.

Meditate regularly for an improved attention span in old age

March 28, 2018
Regular and intensive meditation sessions over the course of a lifetime could help a person remain attentive and focussed well into old age. This is according to the most extensive longitudinal study to date examining a group ...

Simple meditation shown to decrease symptoms of stress and depression

October 7, 2012
A simple form of mindful meditation can help breast cancer survivors stave off the symptoms of depression, new research suggests. But the potential benefits don't stop there.

Recommended for you

Changing room playlist could give World Cup teams the edge

June 18, 2018
Blasting out Rihanna or Kanye West could give World Cup squads that crucial psychological edge over rival teams, suggests research from Brunel University London.

Nature programmes could put a spring in your step

June 18, 2018
New research shows that watching TV programmes such as the BBC's Springwatch and Countryfile might actually be good for you.

Gut microbes may contribute to depression and anxiety in obesity

June 18, 2018
Like everyone, people with type 2 diabetes and obesity suffer from depression and anxiety, but even more so. Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center now have demonstrated a surprising potential contributor to these negative ...

Helicopter parenting may negatively affect children's emotional well-being, behavior

June 18, 2018
It's natural for parents to do whatever they can to keep their children safe and healthy, but children need space to learn and grow on their own, without Mom or Dad hovering over them, according to new research published ...

Why you should eat popcorn with chopsticks – and other psychological tricks to make life more enjoyable

June 18, 2018
It happens fast. You crack open a bottle of your favorite drink and put it to your lips. The delicious flavor is nearly overwhelming. But a minute later, you're barely noticing the taste as you drink it.

iReadMore app improves reading ability of stroke patients

June 18, 2018
A new smart app designed to improve the reading ability of people who have suffered a stroke provides 'significant' improvements, a UCL study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.