If you’re forgetful or make mistakes when you’re in a rush, a new study suggests a new fix: meditation.
Research from the University of Michigan tested how open-monitoring meditation may alter brain activity in a way that makes it easier to recognize personal error.
What is open-monitoring meditation? It’s a type of mediation that focuses on awareness of personal feelings, thoughts, or sensations as they unfold in your mind and body.
It’s different from other forms of meditation, where the goal is to focus on a single object – like your breath. Open-monitoring meditation has you turn inwards and pay attention to everything going on in your mind and body. The goal has been described as honing in “on where the mind travels without getting too caught up in the scenery.”
Researchers from the study, which was published in Brain Sciences, said that so far, “people’s interest in meditation and mindfulness is outpacing what science can prove in terms of effects and benefits.”
Their work aimed to change that.
They recruited more than 200 participants who had never meditated before to go through a 20-minute open-monitoring meditation session. They had their brain activity monitored with an EEG during the session. Next, they did a computerized distraction test.
The results suggested that just 20-minutes of meditation can enhance the brain’s ability to pay attention to mistakes. It suggests that this form of meditation may help people improve daily function by allowing them to notice errors more quickly.
Larger trials need to be conducted to see if these results can be repeated. Still, these preliminary findings can be very intriguing to those who are noticing an uptick in the minor errors they make every day.