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Meditation Techniques for a Healthy Soul

Meditation Techniques for a Healthy Soul

Learn how these meditation practices can help you manage stress and more.

Julianne Hough—actress and two-time winner of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars—practices a meditation method known as “complete body scan (CBS).” It involves checking in with her body from the top of her head to the tip of her toes. After the body scan, she notices a difference in her breathing (more controlled) and what she calls a “total connectivity to all parts of you!”

New research suggests Hough is onto something. In a recent study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, researchers had 135 participants listen to pre-recorded tapes (some promoted Hough’s CBS) to see which provided the most favorable physical and psychological benefits.

Participants were divided into five groups: CBS folks directed attention to their body; a group that practiced “loving-kindness meditation for the self (LKM-S)” were instructed to feel compassion for themselves and someone they were close to. Other groups listened to recordings that focused on recent failures, or were asked to think about positive situations where they worked to achieve something great. A control group was guided through a supermarket shopping scenario.

The researchers found CBS and LKM-S calm the heart rate, switch off the body’s stress response and enhance a person’s sense of mental well-being. These exercises aren’t Stuart Smiley-style affirmations; they’re defined by use of self-reassurance and soothing in times of stress.

So, the next time you’re stressed, try these practices. Check out stress management techniques on Sharecare.com—remember, managing stress makes your RealAge much younger—and track your stress levels on the Sharecare app for iOS and Android.

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