There are dozens of meditation-based apps developed for mobile device users to use. And variety is good, great, even, since we can choose the one, or the ones, that work best for us.

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But with meditation, there’s a catch. While the majority of them, if not all, say they’re good for reducing stress levels and promoting wellness, there is still a difference between them.

The difference was highlighted by a recent research. It turns out that meditation apps fall into two major categories, those that trigger “Relaxation response” and those that use the “mindfulness” approach.

The former body-mind technique is the exact opposite of the “fight or flight” stress response. It helps the followers of this approach to reach the state of deep rest. The latter technique helps develop a specific non-judgemental attitude by simply observing and acknowledging one’s thoughts and emotions.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Both techniques are based on meditation, but the scientific principles, teachings, instructions, mechanisms of action and traditions is what sets them apart. This, in its turn, means that the result can be pretty much different.

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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.

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Researchers conducted an experiment whereby two groups of adults each took up a different two-month meditation program. Once the program was completed, the results were compared. Both “relaxation response” and “mindfulness” programs helped reduce stress levels and instill the principles of mindfulness in participants. However, those who took the mindfulness program reported an improvement in their sense of self-compassion and rumination.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

To further prove their theory, the researchers measured brain activity as participants were performing a mindful procedure common for both programs, a body scan. It’s a procedure where one is mentally scanning the whole body, relaxing each part for relaxation-response program and accepting the sensations for mindful awareness program.

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

The relaxation-response body scan technique prompted a more intense connection between neural regions of the brain associated with deliberate control. Meanwhile, the mindfulness body scan showed a more intense reaction in neural regions associated with sensory awareness and perception.

Think of this as of what different workout types do to your body. All are effective, but all have a different mechanism and result.

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This deeper insight into meditation techniques can help people choose the program, or an app, that suits their needs best and is more effective for their personal improvement.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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