Can mindfulness meditation reduce loneliness?

Can mindfulness meditation reduce loneliness?

Researchers claim that mindfulness meditation is the most effective way to reduce loneliness among older adults.

According to a study at Carnegie Mellon University, the 2,500-year-old practice has numerous physical and mental health benefits, by encouraging participants to be aware of the present moment.

In addition to easing the loneliness felt by older adults, researchers also found that mindfulness meditation can lower inflammation levels, which contribute to the development of many illnesses.

Dr David Creswell, leader of the study, commented: "We always tell people to quit smoking for health reasons, but rarely do we think about loneliness in the same way."

Yet by doing so, meditation can be a useful intervention for older adults.

Dr Creswell's assertions are based on studies of 40 healthy adults aged between 55 to 85. Participants had previously suggested they would be interested in learning mindfulness meditation.

Subjects were assigned to either an eight-week course of meditation or no treatment at all. It was found that those in the meditation group had more positive outcomes than other participants.

The study follows the release of a report detailing how half of the UK's population of older adults consider the TV as their main source of company.

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