While everyone is prone to making errors, it turns out that some people are actually better than others at spotting and paying attention to their mistakes because of one simple practice: meditation.

Normally, 0.5 seconds after we make a mistake, our brains shoot a neural signal called “error positivity”, linked to conscious error recognition. What a recent study has found, though, is that the strength of this signal is increased in those practicing a certain type of mindfulness.

Particularly, researchers have found that engaging in open monitoring meditation – the type that focuses awareness on feelings, thoughts, or sensations in the body – can alter brain activity in a way that suggests increased error recognition.

For the study, researchers recruited more than 200 participants to test how open monitoring meditation affected how people detect and respond to errors. The participants, who had never meditated before, participated in a 20-minute open monitoring meditation exercise while the researchers measured brain activity through electroencephalography (EEG). The meditators’ brains indicated a likely increase in error recognition.

Apart from all the other known benefits that meditation can have on our mental health, it seems we have yet another reason to make room in our schedules for a 20-minute session.

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