Any meditation is a good meditation, but scientists are starting to pinpoint exactly what the different types of meditation are best at achieving. According to researchers at Germany’s Max Planck Institute, mindfulnessbased meditations such as breath work and body scans are great at improving cognitive function, while if you want to improve your interpersonal skills, then a loving-kindness sesh might be the way to go.
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The three-month study divided volunteers into three groups, who all practised different meditation techniques for 30 minutes a day, six days a week. Some of the volunteers also participated in partner exercises designed to increase social awareness and empathy. Those in the social awareness meditation groups showed improvements in compassion and perspective-taking, while the mindfulness groups scored highly in attention tasks. The best bit? Even though physical markers of stress varied between the groups, all the participants rated themselves as less stressed after taking part. Om-azing.
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