Compassion Meditation Helps Mind-Wandering

STANFORD, Calif. – Meditation helps reduce mind-wandering and encourages caring and benevolent behavior, according to new research from Stanford University.

The research was published in the March edition of the Journal of Positive Psychology.

The researchers claim this is the first study that proves that formal compassion training decreases the mind’s desire to wander and increases caring behavior toward others.

They claim that mindfulness is extremely useful in today’s world rife with distractions and the need to multi-task.

Meditation teaches a person to focus and to discard distraction when the need to focus on tasks is great.

Distraction can result in anxiety, fear and negativity, they said.

Compassion meditation involves the recognition of the wish to relieve suffering in others and the self. It emphasizes focusing attention on a particular person or situation.

The 51 adult participants in the study program took nine two-hour classes with certified instructors. Researchers measured their various states of mind-wandering and behaviors towards others.

The study concluded compassion meditation decreased mind-wandering to neutral topics and increased caring behaviors toward oneself.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2015.1025418

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