According to a new study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, meditation sessions of 25 minutes for 3 consecutive days is all it takes to reduce psychological stress levels. The research, published in the Psychoneuroendocrinology journal, explores the effect of mindfulness meditation on the resilience of people faced with stressful situations.
Mindfulness, defined by pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn as “moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment” has been the topic of much research in recent years geared at examining the effects and benefits of meditation on the human brain. The results are thus far consistently positive in support of maintaining a regular practice, though ongoing research is necessary to dive deeper into the subject.
In this recent study, the lead researcher J. David Creswell, associate professor of psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and his team involved 66 healthy participants aged 18-30 in their 3-day study. Split into two groups, one set of participants were taught mindfulness meditation techniques such as breathing exercises and the other group underwent a cognitive training program in which participants analyzed poetry in order to boost problem-solving skills. What the research team found is that “mindfulness meditation fostered psychological stress resilience. The mindfulness mediation participants also showed greater cortisol reactivity.”
“More and more people report using meditation practices for stress reduction, but we know very little about how much you need to do for stress reduction and health benefits,” said Creswell. The research team has plans in place to conduct a new study exploring whether a long-term mindfulness meditation practice makes mindfulness an automatic response and reduces cortisol levels.
What we now know, however, is that mindfulness meditation can be used to reduce stress levels and increase resilience in practitioners over a very short period of time.
Meditation instructor Alice Lash offers mindfulness meditation in Miami. To learn more about how you can use mindfulness meditation to reduce your stress levels, contact Mindfultime today.