Scientists say they have evidence to show that Buddhists really are happier and calmer than other people.
Tests carried out in the United States reveal that areas of their brain associated with good mood and positive feelings are more active.
The findings come as another study suggests that Buddhist meditation can help to calm people.
Researchers at University of California San Francisco Medical Centre have found the practise can tame the amygdala, an area of the brain which is the hub of fear memory.
There is something about conscientious Buddhist practice that results in the kind of happiness we all seek
They found that experienced Buddhists, who meditate regularly, were less likely to be shocked, flustered, surprised or as angry compared to other people.
Paul Ekman, who carried out the study, said: “The most reasonable hypothesis is that there is something about conscientious Buddhist practice that results in the kind of happiness we all seek.”
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