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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How much meditation is enough?

A bevy of research studies have found measurable results from meditation: reduced blood pressure, changes in brain activity and heart rate. It's undeniable that working with your mind has physical effects.

But how much meditation does it take to see results?

Researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University have found that 25 minutes of meditation for three consecutive days alleviates psychological stress.

"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 lead author J. David Creswell, associate professor of psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
For the study, 66 people age 18-30 years old participated in a three-day experiment. Some participants went through a three-day mindfulness meditation training program where they were given breathing exercises to help them monitor their breath and pay attention to their present moment experiences. A second group completed a matched three-day cognitive training program in which they were asked to critically analyze poetry in an effort to enhance problem-solving skills.

After the training, participants were asked to complete stressful speech and math tasks in front of stern-faced evaluators. Each individual reported their stress levels and provided saliva samples for measurement of cortisol, commonly referred to as the stress hormone.

The participants who received the meditation training perceived less stress related to the speech and math tasks, but showed greater cortisol reactivity.
 "When you initially learn mindfulness mediation practices, you have to cognitively work at it — especially during a stressful task," Creswell said. "And, these active cognitive efforts may result in the task feeling less stressful, but they may also have physiological costs with higher cortisol production."
Researchers are looking at the possibility that mindfulness can become more automatic and easy to use with long-term meditation training, which may result in reduced 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,” lead author J. David Creswell, associate professor of psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences said in a press release. - See more at: http://www.elevatedexistence.com/blog/2014/07/10/25-minutes-of-mindfulness-meditation-alleviates-psychological-stress-study-shows/#sthash.EaLVAwjz.dpuf
“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,” lead author J. David Creswell, associate professor of psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences said in a press release. - See more at: http://www.elevatedexistence.com/blog/2014/07/10/25-minutes-of-mindfulness-meditation-alleviates-psychological-stress-study-shows/#sthash.EaLVAwjz.dpuf
New research from Carnegie Mellon University is the first to show that brief mindfulness meditation practice — 25 minutes for three consecutive days — alleviates psychological stress. Published in the journal “Psychoneuroendocrinology,” the study investigates how mindfulness meditation affects people’s ability to be resilient under stress.
“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,” lead author J. David Creswell, associate professor of psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences said in a press release.
- See more at: http://www.elevatedexistence.com/blog/2014/07/10/25-minutes-of-mindfulness-meditation-alleviates-psychological-stress-study-shows/#sthash.EaLVAwjz.dpuf
New research from Carnegie Mellon University is the first to show that brief mindfulness meditation practice — 25 minutes for three consecutive days — alleviates psychological stress. Published in the journal “Psychoneuroendocrinology,” the study investigates how mindfulness meditation affects people’s ability to be resilient under stress. - See more at: http://www.elevatedexistence.com/blog/2014/07/10/25-minutes-of-mindfulness-meditation-alleviates-psychological-stress-study-shows/#sthash.EaLVAwjz.dpuf
New research from Carnegie Mellon University is the first to show that brief mindfulness meditation practice — 25 minutes for three consecutive days — alleviates psychological stress. Published in the journal “Psychoneuroendocrinology,” the study investigates how mindfulness meditation affects people’s ability to be resilient under stress. - See more at: http://www.elevatedexistence.com/blog/2014/07/10/25-minutes-of-mindfulness-meditation-alleviates-psychological-stress-study-shows/#sthash.EaLVAwjz.dpuf