Can you train yourself to be KIND? Just seven hours of meditation can rewire your brain, claims study

By Sarah Griffiths

The study also measured changes in brain responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after training. A stock MRI image is pictured
  • Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison said kindness is not fixed, but can be enhanced with training and practice
  • People trained in compassion were more likely to spend their own money altruistically in their experiment
  • Kindness training in schools could help children learn to be attuned to their own emotions and decrease bullying.

Everyone regrets not being more kind to a person at some point in their lives.

And now scientists have shown that a mere seven hours of brain training can make humans kinder and morelikely to help those in need. U.S. researchers have discovered that training people to be more compassionate actually changes their brains.

Scientists at the Waisman Centre at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in Wisconsin, used compassion mediation – an ancient Buddhist technique to increase caring feelings for people who are suffering – in their experiment.

Lead author Helen Weng said: ‘Our fundamental question was, “Can compassion be trained and learned in adults?” Our evidence points to yes.’

She likened the kindness training to weight training.

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