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Meditation makes you more creative

Certain can promote , even if you have never meditated before. This is the outcome of a study by cognitive psychologist and at , published in Mindfulness.

Long-lasting influence
The study is a clear indication that you don’t need to be an experienced meditator to profit more from meditation. The findings support the belief that meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas. Besides experienced meditators, also novices may profit from meditation.

Different techniques, different effects
But the results demonstrate that not all forms of meditation have the same effect on creativity. Test persons performed better in (= thinking up as many possible solutions for a given problem) after Open Monitoring meditation (= being receptive to every thought and sensation). The researchers did not see this effect on after Focused Attention meditation (=focusing on a particular thought or object.)

Setup of the study
40 individuals participated in this study, who had to meditate for 25 minutes before doing their thinking tasks. There were both experienced mediators and people who never meditated before. The study investigated the influences of different types of meditative techniques on the two main ingredients of creativity:

Divergent thinking
Allows for many new ideas to be generated. It is measured using the so-called Alternate Uses Task method where participants are required to think up as many uses as possible for a particular object, such as a pen.

Convergent thinking
Convergent thinking, on the other hand, is a process whereby one possible solution for a particular problem is generated. This method is measured using the Remote Associates Task method, where three unrelated words are presented to the participants, words such as ‘time’, ‘hair’ and ‘stretch’. The participants are then asked to identify the common link: in this case, ‘long’.


Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.

Prior meditation practice modulates performance and strategy use in convergent- and divergent -thinking problems, Colzato, L.S., Szapora, A., Lippelt, D. & Hommel, Mindfulness, DOI: 10.1007/s12671-014-0352-9, published 29 October 2014.

Source: Leiden University