A Single Session of Meditation May Reduce Anxiety and Help Your Heart
Participants showed benefits after a short, introductory meditation session.
Stress and anxiety can make everyday life a challenge. They’re the mental monsters that harm the well-being of millions daily, leading to long-term effects on health.
In the hopes of finding a way to combat stress, researchers are investigating if a single, hour-long meditation session can counteract the negative effects of anxiety and stress.
Over the past decade, meditation and mindfulness have become popular regimens in healthy living. They’ve evolved from being just a fad to a legitimate player in the fight against cardiovascular disease and other conditions exacerbated by stress.
Previous research on meditation and anxiety have shown significant reductions in anxiety levels after weeks of meditation. But this study suggests that just one meditation session can lower anxiety and potentially a person’s cardiovascular risk. More research is needed to confirm these findings, however.
John J. Durocher, PhD, assistant professor of physiology in the department of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University and Hannah Marti, a recent graduate of Michigan Technological University, led the research. They measured the 14 participants’ anxiety using a system called the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) before and after they underwent a 60-minute introductory mindful meditation session.
The researchers found that meditation had significant effects on both physical and mental symptoms of anxiety. Participants reported far less anxiety on the BAI, but they also had physical indicators of less stress.After one hour of meditation, researchers found that there was a significant change on blood vessel wall stiffness — indicating less stress or pressure on their arteries — immediately after meditation. This reduction was also seen an hour after the meditation as well.
As a result of these early findings, the researchers suggest people can start to see psychological and physical benefits from a single introductory session of mindful meditation — and possibly even lower their cardiovascular risk.
While this study is small and yet to be published in a medical journal, the researchers say it can help open a new pathway of research.
How meditation can help your heart
According to the most recent data available, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)estimates more than 19 percent of adults experienced anxiety within the past year and more than 31 percent experienced an anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime. The NIMH notes anxiety disorders are higher in females than males.
However, mindful meditation has been shown to help not only stress and anxiety, but other conditions often exacerbated by chronic stress as well.
Debra Taitel is a gifted Clairvoyant, Energy Healer, Spiritual Teacher and Intuitive Business Consultant providing insight and guidance to clients around the world. In addition to her clairvoyant readings, business consulting and healing work Debra also offers one to one personal empowerment sessions and leads meditation workshops to help people heal and awaken to their own truth and spiritual gifts.