MORE ZEN THAN MEN?

Women's Health (Malaysia) - - DISCUSS -

That’s the sur­pris­ing take­away from a new study con­ducted at Brown Univer­sity, which found that women’s brains are bet­ter primed to re­ceive med­i­ta­tion’s pay­offs. Fe­male med­i­ta­tors in a 12-week course saw more of a de­crease in neg­a­tive emo­tions like ir­ri­ta­tion, sad­ness and shame than the dudes in the class did. The women also got a bump in their mind­ful­ness and self-com­pas­sion skills. The ex­act rea­son for the gen­der gap is un­clear, but study au­thors be­lieve it could be due to the dif­fer­ent ways men and women process emo­tion: Women tend to ru­mi­nate on neg­a­tive thoughts, while men dis­tract them­selves. Through med­i­ta­tion, the women may have learned to bet­ter man­age that bum­mer in­ter­nal chat­ter by notic­ing it and ac­knowl­edg­ing it, with­out go­ing down the rab­bit hole of wor­ry­ing. The au­thors be­lieve med­i­tat­ing for even five or 10 min­utes daily is the best way to im­prove mind­ful­ness, but smaller tweaks also help. Al­low 100 per­cent of your brain to en­gage in the present—even with things as mun­dane as wash­ing dishes and ty­ing your shoes— by not let­ting other thoughts (“did I pay that bill?”) take your mind off the task.

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