“Altered Traits”: IN A NUTSHELL




Although meditation was not originally intended to treat psychological problems, 


in modern times it has shown promise in the treatment of some, particularly depression and anxiety disorders. 


In a meta-analysis of forty-seven studies on the application of meditation methods to treat patients with mental health problems, 


the findings show that meditation can lead to decreases in depression (particularly severe depression), anxiety, and pain—about as much as medications but with no side effects. 



Meditation also can, to a lesser degree, reduce the toll of psychological stress. 



Loving-kindness meditation may be particularly helpful to patients suffering from trauma, especially those with PTSD. 



The melding of mindfulness with cognitive therapy, or MBCT, has become the most empirically well-validated psychological treatment with a meditation basis. 



This integration continues to have a wide impact in the clinical world, with empirical tests of applications to an ever larger range of psychological disorders under way. 



While there are occasional reports of negative effects of meditation, the findings to date underscore the potential promise of meditation-based strategies, 



and the enormous increase in scientific research in these areas bodes well for the future.



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