Tuesday, November 1, 2016

STUDY SHOWS MINDFULNESS IMPROVES EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Neuroscientists from Michigan State University (MSU) have now presented clinical data suggesting the practice of mindfulness can help anyone deal with intensely emotional situations in a calm and balanced way, whether they are ‘naturals’ at meditation or undergo a crash course.

‘Our findings not only demonstrate that meditation improves emotional health, but that people can acquire these benefits regardless of their ‘natural’ ability to be mindful,’ said Dr Yanli Lin, lead author on the study. ‘It just takes some practice.’

The team asked 68 participants to either listen to an 18-minute audio meditation guide or a control presentation on learning a new language. Each person was then shown upsetting images, including photos of corpses, while hooked up to an electroencephalogram (EEG) which recorded their brain activity. All participants were female; the authors argued this meant they did not have to account for gender differences relating to regulating emotions.


The resulting scans showed ‘a significant reduction in LPP response to negative stimuli over time’, the authors wrote in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. LPP stands for ‘late positive potential’, and refers to emotion-related activity in the brain’s visual cortex and how it is processed.

Previous studies have shown that LPP ‘reflects a global inhibition of activity in visual cortex, resulting in the selective survival of activity associated with the processing of the emotional stimulus’. It is part of an emotional coping mechanism, and in this study it was argued that it proved those who meditated could control their negative emotions and recover quickly.

The Michigan team found the results in the group that meditated were similar to those found in prior studies on ‘naturally mindful’ people, ‘suggesting that the benefits of mindfulness can be cultivated through practice’.

It seems that, like most other things, practice is the key to success. In that regard, the researchers found that when individuals were specifically instructed to ‘be mindful’, when looking at the distressing photos, the LPP was not impacted at all, ‘indicating that deliberate engagement in [a] state [of] mindfulness may not be an effective form of emotion regulation in meditation novices’.


Study: Lin, Y et al. ‘Deconstructing the Emotion Regulatory Properties of Mindfulness: An Electrophysiological Investigation.’ Front. Hum. Neurosci. 07 September 2016 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00451



RELATED POSTS

 

MINDFULNESS HELPS TO CONTROL EMOTIONS ACCORDING TO NEW STUDY


MINDFULNESS DECREASES ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION IN CANCER PATIENTS


MINDFULNESS MAY ASSIST WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER

MINDFULNESS AND POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER


MINDFULNESS TRAINING IMPROVES YOUR BRAIN




IMPORTANT NOTICE: See the Terms of Use and Disclaimer. The information provided on this blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your medical practitioner or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on this blog. In Australia, for immediate advice or support call Lifeline on 13 1 1 14, beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, and for information, advice and referral on mental illness contact the SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263) or go online via sane.org. In other countries, call the relevant mental health care emergency hotline or simply dial your emergency assistance telephone number and ask for help.




No comments:

Post a Comment