Top Mindfulness Research Fall 2019

New research explores the relationship between mindfulness, mental health, breathing and more.

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Loving-Kindness for Slower Aging

Practicing loving-kindness may protect your genes and slow aging, a new study finds. Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wanted to know which forms of meditation were most protective for telomeres (segments of DNA that stop chromosomes from deteriorating too rapidly). One hundred seventy-six adults with no prior meditation experience were assigned to learn either mindfulness meditation or loving-kindness meditation, or to be in a no-training control group. Over six weeks, mindfulness and loving-kindness participants attended hour-long group meditation classes once per week and were asked to use 20-minute audio practices at home daily. Meditators learned to observe their experience to increase their objectivity and mental clarity, while the loving-kindness group focused on fostering kindness and social connection. Participants’ telomere length was measured before and after the study. After six weeks, the most significant decrease in telomere length occurred in the control, with slightly less decline among mindfulness meditators and the least decline among loving-kindness practitioners. More research is needed to determine what it is about loving-kindness meditation that may safeguard telomeres from the effects of stress and aging.

Mindfulness or Compassion for Mental Health

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Compassion Focused…

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