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Mindful : February 2019
Research News by B. GRACE BULLOCK FEELING GOOD IN YOUR OWN SKIN Do mindful people feel better about their bodies? Researchers asked 115 female college students about their level of mindfulness, body respon- siveness, body shame, and overall health. Women who reported greater awareness and who tended to be nonjudgmental and nonreac- tive—key mind- fulness skills— had less body shame, were more attuned to their bodies, and were healthier overall. The researchers say it’s not yet clear whether mind- fulness increases body satisfaction, or vice versa. BUILDING YOUR MEDITATION MUSCLE In a comparison of adults who listened to either a guided medita- tion or a podcast daily for 13 min- utes, researchers found that medi- tators reaped more benefits. For instance, after eight weeks meditators felt less anxiety and reported fewer negative mood states. And their performance on a set of computer- ized tests showed that they’d developed better attention and memor y skills than podcast listeners. The brain net- works that work to keep us in the present moment and remember information are like mental mus- cles: They need exercise to keep them sharp and well-functioning, and meditation may provide that workout. The study also found that people in the meditation group were bet- ter at regulating their emotions, which was tied to having fewer negative moods. But before you think this was a quick fix, think again. When the researchers checked to see if these benefits could be detected after four weeks, they came up empty-handed. Most of the gains didn’t show up Research gathered from Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, Center for Healthy Minds at University of Wisconsin–Madison, Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School, and American Mindfulness Research Association. 14 mindful February 2019 what’s new ILLUSTRATIONBYFREEPIK