Can a little loving kindness improve our mental health?
Mindfulness — an ancient Buddhist approach to meditation — is attracting increasing attention in the 21st century as a non-invasive treatment for stress and depression. But can it improve mental well-being in young people?
Using electroencephalography (EEG) — a non-invasive method of recording electrical activity in the brain along the scalp — Dr Ahmed Mohammed, from the School of Psychology at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) is attempting to find out if loving kindness meditation can improve the wellbeing and mental health of young people.
Dr Mohammed said: “Mindfulness is free cost effective and non-invasive. The aim is to discover if mindfulness compared with active relaxation can improve the subjective wellbeing and brain measures in health young adolescents who have never been exposed to mindfulness training.”
After completing a psychological questionnaire, 30 students from UNMC, The University of Nottingham in the UK and local Malaysians, take part in a two week mindfulness intervention to assess the impact on their subjective wellbeing, happiness, their sense of gratitude as well as hopefulness.
The mindfulness training being used in this research focusses on being friendly towards yourself and towards others. The research, funded by the Faculty of Science at UNMC will take six months to complete. The aim is to enhance the health of the young adolescent brain.
Dr Mohammed said: “I have always been interested in how psychology in general and neuroscience in particular can promote wellbeing in young adults and young adolescents and contribute to the betterment of society as a whole.”
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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.