People who practice meditation often have the idea that it is an art form, but it is not, according to a new study from Harvard University.
People who meditate regularly report that it feels like “pain and suffering”, according to the study.
However, a new paper published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science says meditation is a “pain-relief activity”.
It was found that the meditation-seeking participants were more likely to experience a loss of emotion than the non-meditating group, which found it more difficult to experience pain.
Researchers from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Medical School conducted an online survey of 1,852 adults, who said they meditated three times a week for at least one hour.
The participants were given a list of the activities they thought would help them to improve their mental health.
They were also asked to describe how they meditate, and the results showed that those who meditated regularly were more concerned about their mental wellbeing, the authors wrote.
“Meditation has long been associated with spiritual experience,” they said.
“Meditation can help people cope with anxiety and depression, improve attention and concentration, and increase energy and motivation.”
While the scientific evidence supporting meditation’s therapeutic potential is extensive, it is unclear whether the benefits accrue to those who practice it more frequently.
“The researchers said their results could help clinicians make informed decisions about how and when to offer meditation-focused interventions.
They added that while the findings are positive, they do not mean that meditation is always the most effective.”
It is not clear how much this type of study contributes to a scientific understanding of the therapeutic effects of meditation,” they wrote.