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Emotional health is improved with meditation

Harold Mandel's picture
prayer and emotional health

A new study suggests your emotions can be tamed with meditation even if you are not a mindful person.


Meditation can effectively help people relax without concerns about the potential horrible side effects from tranquilizers. In fact tranquilizing drugs often dangerously worsen anxieties and generally have addiction, tolerance and withdrawal problems associated with them.

Even if you're not a mindful person meditation can help tame your emotions

Michigan State University
reports the emotional brain can be kept in check with meditation. A new study from Michigan State University has suggested even if you're not a mindful person meditation can help tame your emotions.

Psychology researchers recorded the brain activity which occurs when people look at disturbing pictures immediately after they meditated for the first time. It was observed that these participants could tame the negative emotions they experienced as well as participants who were naturally mindful.

Meditation improves emotional health

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Yanli Lin, an MSU graduate student and the lead investigator of the study, says the findings of this study demonstrated that meditation improves emotional health and people can acquire these benefits regardless of whether or not they have a natural ability to be mindful. Practice is all that is needed.

Mindfulness has gained popularity across the world as a way to promote health and well-being. Mindfulness involves
a moment-by-moment awareness of one’s feelings, thoughts and sensations. In this study the participants who meditated had varying levels of natural mindfulness. The emotional brains of these people recovered rapidly after they viewed photos which were disturbing. Essentially they were therefore able to keep their negative emotions in check.

This study was conducted in Jason Moser’s Clinical Psychophysiology Lab. Moser has commented if you happen to be a naturally mindful person, and you’re very aware of things on a daily basis, well than you're already good to go. Your emotions can be shed very fast. However if you're not a naturally mindful person than meditation can make it appear as if you are the same type of person who has a lot of mindfulness naturally.

This study has been published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The researchers have observed that brief mindfulness meditation, but not the deliberate engagement in state mindfulness, leads to demonstrable changes in emotional processing which are indicative of decreased emotional reactivity. It is interesting that these effects are similar to those effects which are observed in people with naturally high dispositional mindfulness. This suggests that with practice mindfulness can actually be cultivated.