Health

Here's Why You Should Learn To Practice Mindfuless

Infographic courtesy Information Is Beautiful. Plus three short and relaxing guided meditations to help you get started.

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People make lots of claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. But what's true, and what's hype?

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David McCandless, author of Information Is Beautiful and the book Knowledge Is Beautiful, wanted to understand the science and learn the truth. So he asked researchers Miriam Quick and Ella Hollowood to examine 75 scientific studies about the effectiveness of meditation. Quick and Hollowood ranked each bit of evidence based on quality (strong, promising, inconclusive, and slight/weak), and categorized each benefit.

And then McCandless created this beautiful infographic to show what they learned.

David McCandless of Information Is Beautiful / Via informationisbeautiful.net

According to an email sent to BuzzFeed Life: "The image you see here in BuzzFeed appears in the book Knowledge Is Beautiful as part of a larger graphic, where McCandless and his team identify in visual form the different types of meditation. Afterwards an entirely blank page has been deliberately inserted into the book to aid readers in their own mindfulness practice."

As BuzzFeed Life previously reported, research shows that meditation can actually alter your brain structure.

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And per Miriam Quick, one of the researchers for the Information is Beautiful infographic: "There's evidence the brain structure of long-term meditators is different to that of nonmeditators, including in areas relating to breathing, pain, and emotion," she says. "There were [also] some unexpected details: One study found meditation makes people better able to read others' facial expressions accurately."

Here is a two-minute meditation you might want to try.

View this video on YouTube

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Let Deepak Chopra guide you in this quick Meditation on Self-Love and Acceptance, from Sonima.

This one is four minutes long and is a meditation for better sleep.

View this video on YouTube

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And this one is 10 minutes long, if that's more your speed.

View this video on YouTube

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Health Editor at BuzzFeed Life

Contact Carolyn Kylstra at carolyn.kylstra@buzzfeed.com.

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