Review finds little evidence that a popular, A-list program increases happiness in terms of mindfulness.


Mindfulness may not be the mental health revolution, it's cracked to be with a scientific assessment of the evidence finding evidence that increases happiness is weak (stock image)

Trendy mindfulness practices loved by Hollywood A-listers may not actually do anything to boost your happiness, a scientific review finds.

Canadian experts analyzed 57 high-quality studies on five commonly recommended ways to boost happiness, including meditation and mindfulness.

Other methods assessed included exercising, expressing gratitude, being more social and immersing yourself in nature.

While some evidence showed that gratitude and being social worked, experts found that none of the other three tactics passed the scrutiny.

Academics at the University of British Columbia said the supposed benefits of mindfulness courses may actually be due to participants feeling less lonely from participating in classes, rather than an intrinsic mood boost.

Mindfulness may not be the mental health revolution, it’s cracked to be with a scientific assessment of the evidence finding evidence that increases happiness is weak (stock image)

Mindfulness is a popular form of meditation among A-listers like Emma Watson, Katy Perry, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey, and Novak Djokovic.

It uses controlled breathing exercises alongside guided imagery to supposedly relax the mind and body and reduce stress.

While it’s often touted as an easy way to improve your mental well-being, the authors who conducted the review found that these benefits are likely oversold.

Write in the journal Nature human behaviorthey claimed that many of the supposed benefits seen in experiments could be explained by other factors.

They used an example of a weekly mindfulness program conducted over two years for the elderly in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Myanmar.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a popular form of meditation where you focus on being intensely aware of what you are perceiving and feeling right now.

The practice includes breathing methods, guided imagery, and other exercises to relax the mind and body and help reduce stress.

It is often touted as a universal tool for boosting mental well-being by reducing stress, anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness has become popular in recent years as a way to improve mental and physical well-being.

Celebrities endorsing it include Emma Watson, Davina McCall, Angelina Jolie, and Oprah Winfrey.

The participants involved had nearly three times the life satisfaction of those who didn’t, a result the review authors called “unbelievably great.” Instead, they said it could be due to reduced loneliness that the weekly classes brought to the elderly.

Another study of more than 200 Canadian university students had similar problems.

“The current review reveals that some of the most commonly recommended strategies for increasing happiness rest on a weak base of evidence,” researchers said.

Similar problems were found in studies related to exercise and happiness, despite a period of physical activity often being recommended to improve mood.

They found that most studies only compared exercise to control groups where people performed activities, such as watching footage of people exercising or watching documentaries.

The researchers added: “It is not clear whether exercising is better than watching a popular series on Netflix.”

The review’s authors said that while practices such as mindfulness would not directly harm any patient, they should still be tested and supported.

“It’s important to recognize that some happiness strategies, such as meditation programs, require a lot of time and energy, which are limited for many people,” they said.

A number of celebrities have endorsed mindfulness, including Harry Potter star Emma Watson (pictured here at Wimbledon earlier this month)

Hollywood star and envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie is also a proponent of the technique (pictured here in New York earlier this week)

Harry Potter star Emma Watson (pictured here at Wimbledon earlier this month) and Hollywood star and Angelina Jolie, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, mindfulness advocates

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey has also spoken about her belief that mindfulness helps people

Singer Katy Perry has suggested that without mindfulness practice she would have given up on the music industry years ago (pictured here in London earlier this month)

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey said she believes mindfulness helps people “be present” for those they love (pictured here at the ESSENCE Festival Of Culture in June), while Katy Perry has suggested she would have given up on the music industry without the tech

Tennis player Novak Djokovic has said that as an athlete, he used mindfulness as part of the mental training regimen

Tennis player Novak Djokovic has said that as an athlete, he used mindfulness as part of the mental training regimen

And if these strategies are portrayed as strongly supported by scientific evidence, individuals may become discouraged if the strategies fail to improve their own well-being.

“More generally, the credibility of the science can also be hampered if these strategies are recommended with an exuberance that exceeds the existing empirical evidence.”

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