The 4 Things You Need to Know About MeditationMeditation is HARD. Keeping still and staying focused is so unnatural that most who give meditation a try don’t keep it up. So it’s important to know: Does it work? Better than other techniques? How quickly? Is one type better than another? If we meditate for 50 hours but see only small benefits, well… we would be better off spending our time on other happiness hacks. To answer those questions I looked at three meta-analyses, which integrated the results of almost 20,000 meditation studies. What I found surprised the bonkers out of me. The most useful meta-analysis I looked at was done by researchers from The University of Chemnitz, who combined the results of 595 studies on meditation. This analysis was done in 2013. You can read the full study here. The second most useful was done by researchers at The Johns Hopkins University Evidence-based Practice Center, who reviewed 18,753 meditation studies. Although these researchers included more studies, they also had higher standards. That meant they ignored many studies of what they considered lower quality. This analysis was done in 2014. You can read the full study here. The third most useful was done by researchers at The University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center, who looked at 813 studies. This analysis was done in 2007. They looked at the effects of meditation on health. You can read the full study here. Why so late? Meditation is the most studied happiness hack. So why haven’t I written about it before? I have a condition called hypersomnia. Unless I’m doing something interesting, I need to bite myself to stay awake. That’s why my hand has bite marks, not because I have a kinky girlfriend. So meditation? Impossible. Anything more than a few minutes and I’m out. Five weeks ago that finally changed.

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