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Meditation May Enhance Creativity

Update Date: Oct 29, 2014 07:05 PM EDT

Meditation does more than help people relax and reflect. New research reveals that getting some Zen can also enhance creativity.

Cognitive researchers from Leiden University found that certain meditation methods promote creative thinking, even in people who have never meditated. Researchers Lorenza Colzato and Dominique Lippelt said the latest findings provide clear evidence that everyone can benefit from meditation, and that meditation can enhance cognition and creativity.

However, researchers noted that all forms of meditations are not created equal in terms of cognitive enhancement. The study revealed that participants performed significantly better in divergent thinking after Open Monitoring meditation, but not after Focused Attention mediation. Divergent thinking is the ability to come up with as many possible solutions for a given problem. Open Monitoring meditation is actively being open to accept every though and sensation, and Focused Attention meditation is actively focusing on a particular thought or object.

The latest study involved 40 participants who were asked to meditate for 25 minutes before doing their thinking tasks. The study included both experienced mediators and novices who've never meditated.

The findings are published in the journal Mindfulness.

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