Numerous studies have touted the benefits of mindfulness meditation after days, weeks, and even years. But what benefits appear right after your first hour session?
Michigan Technological University (MTU) released a new study showing that just an hour of mindfulness meditation can actually do a world of good. This is especially true for people who are suffering from anxiety disorders.
Anxiety is one of the most common problems when it comes to mental health. And approximately 18% of the U.S. population suffers from an anxiety disorder on some scale, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Anxiety is often not considered a serious or critical condition. Yet it can have other correlating health effects that should raise concerns. These health threats include a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and even long-term damage to various organs.
The Study of Mediation and Anxiety Sufferers
With these risks in mind, the MTU study decided at the data for some health-related criteria. They looked at the heart rate, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness of anxiety sufferers after just one hour-long session of mindfulness meditation.
They measured participants’ data both before and after their inaugural meditation. And after the session, the researchers saw noticeable and positive results.
All of the participants showed lower resting heart rates and lower blood pressure immediately after the session. And they reported feeling less anxiety as well, matching the scientific and technical measurements.
The study’s findings will be shared at the American Physiological Society annual meeting in San Diego. However, the results are in line with a number of similar studies that have tackled the subject of meditation’s effect on stress and anxiety.
This is one of the few studies to examine the immediate results – or benefits after just a single session. Yet numerous other studies utilizing various methods have found that when it comes to anxiety, mindfulness meditation is a valuable tool.
How Meditation Helps
It makes sense that there’s a correlation between mindfulness meditation and reduced anxiety, too.
After all, the vast majority of people who suffer from an anxiety condition worry about future potential events, as well as past events that cannot be changed. Meditation trains the brain to prioritize concerns, and to discard any “unhelpful” thoughts that are illogical and over which outcomes we have no control.
In addition, mindfulness meditation has a direct effect on the chemicals our bodies produce that regulate our responses to stress. Stress can also affect our heart health. So meditation is the key to healthy mind and body.
With an increased production of “feel good” chemicals like melatonin, we can control our happiness. And with a regulation of stress hormones like cortisol, our bodies and brains create a better balance of chemicals. Finally, this in turn leads to a reduction in anxiety.
Are you one of roughly 1 in 5 Americans who suffer from anxiety?
Then it might be time to give mindfulness meditation a try. Free of side effects and easily accessible, mindfulness meditation is a simple tool that can do a lot of good for your head, and your heart.
Remember that it just takes one session to feel a little better. And with time, practice, and dedication, the benefits simply increase. So the longer you embrace this wonderfully beneficial treatment for anxiety, the better.
It’s easier now than ever to practice mindfulness mediation – right in your own home! Try my online classes now.