Mindful meditation can help us lead happier, healthier lives, at least according to science. However, many of us still resist the idea of practicing it ourselves.
Perhaps we are concerned that meditation is too recent, or that it may slow us down or lead to complacency. Some might fear that mindfulness will come at the expense of productivity, a moral compass, or even the vitality that gives us our advantage.
But new research is destroying some of the common myths around mindfulness meditation. Rather than sheltering us from bliss or carelessness, mindfulness meditation can actually help us take a moral stand, persevere in achieving our goals, and be more energetic in our lives. – even our sex lives!
Here are some of the mindfulness myths and researches that work against these myths.
Many of us aspire to have courage, to be able to persevere towards our goals, even when things get complicated. It is a quality valued at work, at school, and in life. But it could be argued that mindfulness, by emphasizing acceptance of what is, could keep us from worrying or forcing us to reach them.
However, a recent study says the opposite. Students who declared that they were generally more vigilant were more courageous four months later, when the opposite was not true, which means that courage did not predict future mindfulness.
Certain aspects of mindfulness seemed to be the key to this connection; not judging your experiences, thoughts, and emotions was related to increased persistence and conscientious action, or the ability to focus your attention on your activities rather than doing things without thinking or automatically, was related to maintaining interest in the objectives. overtime.
Although this study involved a largely homogeneous group of participants, other studies found a link between mindfulness and determination in more diverse contexts, including non-Western cultures, although the effects were somewhat weaker in collectivist cultures than in individualists.
In addition, studies have shown that attentive people or people who train in mindfulness persist more in a difficult task are more committed to work, and less impulsive, which can also be linked to the grit.
Overall, these results suggest that mindfulness does not prevent us from pursuing our goals, but may, in fact, help us achieve them … although more, and better, research is certainly needed to prove it.
If mindfulness is about accepting our current experience without judgment, we might think that practicing it would make it difficult to discern right from wrong. If everything is good as it is, why would we think that any behavior is bad?
But in fact, mindfulness can actually make us pickier about moral behavior.
In a recent study, business students were randomly assigned to either an eight-week mindfulness course or a self-management course, which included emotional intelligence, confidence, and creative thinking.
Then they were tested on their levels of moral reasoning, or how well they thought through moral dilemmas. Investigators presented them with a morally challenging scenario, such as a boss asking them to ignore an illegal transaction they discovered between their company and a favorite customer.
The researchers then asked them a series of questions, including what they would do in that situation and why. Their responses were recorded, and their moral reasoning was evaluated by independent evaluators.
Furthermore, students reported on how compassionate and self-centered they were before and after the course, saying how much they agreed with statements like “I often have tender feelings towards (strange) people when they seem to be in need” or “Sometimes you have to lie to get what you want. ”
After conducting analyzes, the researchers found that students who received mindfulness training became more compassionate and less self-centered, and had greater moral reasoning skills than those who received self-management lessons.
This suggests that mindfulness may improve moral reasoning, a precursor to better behavior, by helping students care more about others.
Other studies have found similar results, although this line of research is relatively new. Still, mindfulness seems to decrease self-centeredness and increase compassion, which seems likely to lead to more ethical behavior.
When I first heard about mindfulness, it was one of my concerns. Am I going to become some kind of new-age person who is, frankly, self-centered and somehow out of it?
Apparently not, say the results of several types of research. On the contrary, mindfulness strengthens our social relationships – perhaps by helping us to better regulate difficult emotions like anger or resentment. And, although mindfulness can be developed through an inner practice like meditation, it still helps us connect with the suffering of others and reach out to help them – something that definitely builds social capital.
In a recent study trusting Source, participants were assigned to a scenario in which a player was excluded from a digital ball game. Using clever designs, the researchers were able to show that people who practiced a very short mindfulness practice were more likely to express sympathy to the excluded player and throw the ball more often at a later match.
In fact, studies of neuroscience have shown that you can practice compassionately with others through mindfulness techniques, and it seems that this will have an effect on your brain in such a way that You are more sensitive to your pain and more likely to help you.
So, rather than looking inward, it seems that mindfulness can be a useful social glue and really strengthen relationships. It can even have more impact if you meditate together!
Meditation seems to involve a lot of sitting, perhaps the exception is walking consciously. Therefore, I am concerned that everything I am sitting on will only drain my energy and make me feel slow.
But research seems to suggest otherwise. In one study, researchers found that when participants went through a six-week mindfulness program, they reported significantly higher vitality, as well as less personal distress, than those in a control group. Far from de-energizing them, mindfulness practices actually boosted their energy levels.
Many studies have found that mindfulness can also improve sleep quality, even a trusted source in older adults who may tend to insomnia, which would certainly lead to increased vitality the next day. And a more recent study that Source relied on suggests that people who are more conscious, single or with a partner, have greater sexual satisfaction, a marker of vigor for many people.
So while you fear that succumbing to the madness of mindfulness meditation will somehow drain your energy, make you a lonely monk, compromise your morality or make you less productive, rest assured that it probably won’t the case. Who knows? Like many before you, you may pass from the skeptic to the fanatic!