Did you know that a single session of meditation can reduce anxiety?
We know that meditation programs help alleviate stress and anxiety.
But it is often thought that you have to practice meditation for a long time to be able to see results.
Now a new study suggests that people can derive psychological benefits from just one session of meditation.
Researchers from Michigan Technological University recruited 14 participants who had normal blood pressure but high levels of anxiety.
Anxiety is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The results show a clear reduction in anxiety after 60 minutes of the meditation session.
Previous studies have shown that arterial stiffness can be increased by traumatic life events, job strain, depression, temporary anxiety and long-term proneness to anxiety.
Cardiovascular changes associated with anxiety can also lead to high blood pressure and long-term damage of organs.
The participants in the study took part in a 60 minute introductory session of guided mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation focuses on breathing and awareness of thoughts.
Factors relating to cardiovascular functioning — including heart rate, blood pressure, aortic blood pressure (blood pressure in the aorta, specifically) and arterial stiffness — were measured before and after the meditation session.
The results show a clear reduction in anxiety after 60 minutes of the meditation session. Participants also had reduced mechanical stress which could help reduce stress on organs like the brain and kidneys and prevent conditions like high blood pressure.
The results demonstrate that even a sing brief meditation session can lead to measurable results and improve people’s anxiety.
Researchers also said that most participants reported that they continued meditating after their initial session. The anxiety levels reduced even further after one week.
When you are feeling stressed, try meditating as even that one session of mindfulness meditation will help drop your anxiety levels. And if you are up to it, then continue with your meditation sessions over the weeks and months as you will only benefit from it and develop a healthy mind and body.
Source: Experimental Biology 2018
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