There are so many forms of meditation through which we ultimately learn mindfulness. Which practice is the one for you to bring yourself into the present moment without judgement or anxiety?
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Mindfulness journal has conducted a study where they divided 141 students into three groups, and each group engaged in a certain form of mindful meditation for three weeks: the sitting meditation, the body scan, the mindful yoga.
The sitting meditation group: Sitting meditation is cultivating awareness of each breath taken while sitting in a relaxed but erect posture.
The body scan: Well, it’s exactly that: you pay careful mindful attention to every part of your body.
Mindful yoga: Moving with intention and deliberation.
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At the start of the experiment, the participants measured and recorded levels of stress, depression, rumination, anxiety, as well as emotion regulation, self-compassion, and mindfulness (that is, the ability to observe, describe, act with awareness, be non-judgemental and non-reactive).
Of course, they did the same in the end - and researchers noted that all three groups registered some certain benefits. Some effects were common for all the participants, such as greater self-compassion and well-being, and reduced rumination. This can surely be another proof that practicing mindfulness positively impacts both physical and mental health.
But there also were some differences between the groups
Well-being was boosted the most in yoga group. Research authors say this could be because the link between physical exercise and psychological health, and not necessarily specifically thanks to mindfulness.
Emotion regulation improved best in both yoga and sitting meditation groups. The exact reason for this is not exactly clear yet, but researchers say this may be because those practicing sitting meditation are instructed to simply observe strong emotions without reflecting on them or trying to get rid of them.
Take just a few minutes out of each day to bring yourself to a state of calm and wellness and balance your life using a combination of guided meditations and mindfulness techniques. The techniques are a simple, practical relaxation method for anyone.
Sitting meditation group members reported they were a lot more judgemental of their experiences and feelings than their counterparts in body scan and yoga groups. This is most likely because sitting meditation adepts aspire not to judge their experiences.
So, if you feel angry at yourself or others, sitting meditation could be the right choice for you; if you’re tired or sick, then try yoga. As for the body scan, it doesn’t seem to have as many benefits as the two other practices, but further research could prove that body scan would be more beneficial when combined with sitting meditation or yoga.
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Have you tried all three forms of meditation, and which one resonated better with you?
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