October 13, 2015

COULDN'T YOU GET ANY POTENTIAL BENEFITS...:

Can We End the Meditation Madness? (Adam Grant, OCT. 9, 2015, NY Times)

Before we're all swept into this fad, we ought to ask why meditation is useful. So I polled a group of meditation researchers, teachers and practitioners on why they recommend it. I liked their answers, but none of them were unique to meditation. Every benefit of the practice can be gained through other activities.

This is the conclusion from an analysis of 47 trials of meditation programs, published last year in JAMA Internal Medicine: "We found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment (i.e., drugs, exercise and other behavioral therapies)."

The primary reason people meditate, the experts tell me, is that it may reduce stress. Fine. But so does quality sleep and exercise. And you can reduce stress simply by changing the way you think about it. When you're feeling anxious, it's a signal that you care about the outcome of an upcoming event -- and it can motivate you to prepare.

In an experiment led by the Stanford psychologist Alia Crum, when people had only 10 minutes to prepare a charismatic speech, simply reframing the stress response as healthy was enough to relax them and reduce their physiological responses, if they tended to be highly reactive.

In a nationally representative eight-year study, adults who reported a lot of stress in their lives were more likely to die, but only if they thought stress was harmful. Over a hundred thousand Americans may have died prematurely, "not from stress, but from the belief that stress is bad for you, " as the health psychologist Kelly McGonigal notes.


...by doing something that's indisputably good for you : just go for a walk.  You can't help but thinking to yourself while you're on one.

Posted by at October 13, 2015 7:12 PM
  

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