Does meditation make you happy?
A few years back I organised a symposium at the 2008 BA Festival of Science in Liverpool (now British Science Festival) to discuss the link between meditation practice, happiness and well-being. At that time I was interviewed by Wholescience.net – and below you can still listen to what I had to say. Since then, research moved on and there is meanwhile some good evidence that meditation practice does improve well-being. Take for instance a study by Barbara Fredrickson. A group of participants were introduced to a buddhist loving kindness meditation, aiming at increasing ones love and compassion for others. Compared to a waitlist control group, participants of a 6 week loving kindness meditation programme showed an increase of positive emotions, which in turn resulted in an increase in life satisfaction.
Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J., & Finkel, S. M. (2008). Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1045-1062. [access online]
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