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Many studies praise the benefits of mindfulness meditation, especially on attention, stress or anxiety. What is it really ?
The meditation called “mindfulness” comes from Buddhism. It is a question of focusing on one’s sensations, one’s breathing and the present moment. It would have positive effects on attention, stress or even anxiety. There is an abundant scientific literature on the subject. According to a study published in the journal The Lancet, meditation could complement the effects of antidepressants. For several years, Buddhist monks, like Matthieu Ricard, have been lending their brains to science, in order to measure the possible effects of very sustained meditation on certain areas of the brain.
“We can also measure an impact on neurophysiological processes, therefore a kind of remodeling of the functional and anatomical organization of the brain, in particular the regulation of emotions.“, explains Antoine Lutz, director of neuroscience research at INSERM. Meditating would thus allow some people to regain control of their emotions. Other studies, however, question the benefits of mindfulness and the scientific methodology that supports it. Some practitioners notice possible adverse effects on fragile patients. Psychiatrist Anne Gut-Fayand, of the Sainte-Anne hospital in Paris, mentions “a few contraindications”. “At the beginning of the practice, there can be anxious upsurges”, she warns in particular. Recent studies do not question the benefits of mindfulness meditation, but warn of the dangers of uncontrolled meditation.
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True or false: does mindfulness meditation really have positive effects on health?
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