By learning to focus our attention we can move away from damaging habits, thought patterns and actions.
It is scientifically proven that meditation and prayer aid mental health and aid recovery from mental and bodily illness. In addition to various positive cognitive effects, such as raising awareness and attention, prayer and meditation have positive consequences for our emotional lives, with periods of practice resulting in ‘positive mood, emotional stability and resilience to stress and negative life events’. Many studies have demonstrated these effects using behavioural and social measures, and conclusions are reinforced by research using brain imaging techniques, which have shown that emotionally oriented meditation activates areas of the brain known to have important roles in emotion-related processing. (Source: Cognitive Neuroscience, Spirituality and Mysticism: Recent Developments, in: Psychosis and Spirituality, Ed. Isabel Clarke, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)