-:BENEFITS:-

Archive for ‘emotional benefits’

Reduces Levels of Suicide

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Reduces Levels of Suicide

In a paper published in The Journal of Management & Social Science, practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) was found to reduce levels of suicide. The paper focuses on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s TM-Sidhi program, developed to prevent war and terrorism. The program emphasizes that societal stress leads to war, terrorism, and crime, and hypothesizes that TM can decrease this societal stress, and as a result, decrease war-related consequences. Suicide, an effect of societal stress, was one of the positive changes found to result from the TM-Sidhi program. Military personnel who participated in the program showed noticeable reductions in suicides, suggesting the success of Transcendental Meditation in this area.

Share

Meditation reduces Stress

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

meditation-image-16Researchers in China and at the University of Oregon found that integrative body-mind training, or IBMT, is successful in relieving stress. Individuals trained in IBMT demonstrated lower levels of stress-related emotions such as anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue. These participants, who had previously shown higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, exhibited enhanced performance of emotional and cognitive tasks after completing IBMT courses. This practice includes proper breathing techniques, improved posture, and the use of relaxing music and imagery in order to establish body-mind harmony, resulting in improved cognitive, emotional, and social behaviors. IBMT meditators displayed significant reductions in stress upon performing the practice on a regular basis.

Share

Boosts Mood in Alzheimer’s Patients

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-39A study at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital found that mantra-based meditation can boost the mood of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory impairment or loss. Participants in the study practiced Kirtan Kriya (KK) meditation on a daily basis for 8 weeks, reporting improvement in symptoms ranging from fatigue, anger, depression, and tension. Patients also experienced improvement in cognitive function, which researchers linked specifically to improvement in feelings of depression and confusion. The enhancement in cognitive function also led to improvements in memory for some participants. Researchers state that the study’s results are a promising first step in research examining the connection between meditation and brain function.

Share

Diminishes Feelings of Loneliness

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-58A study conducted by researchers at UCLA found that a simple meditation practice can help reduce feelings of loneliness in elderly people. Participants in an eight week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program not only experienced less feelings of loneliness, but also presented with lower levels of inflammation. This study is the first to suggest a potential link between psychological intervention to address loneliness and decreased inflammation levels. While inflammation is an important component of the body’s immune system, chronic inflammation is a detrimental symptom that is now associated with psychological disorders, including those informed by feelings of loneliness. Therefore, the conclusion that meditation aids in the treatment of both loneliness and inflammation is a promising development.

Share

Helps Elderly Feel Less Lonely

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-59A recent study led by J. David Creswell published in Brain, Behavior & Immunity indicates that mindfulness meditation can help older adults feel less lonely. Moreover, the study also found that this meditation training yielded lower rates of inflammation in participants, which can help slow the progression of disease in elderly patients. Creswell sees mindfulness meditation as a promising intervention for the improvement of older adults’ overall health. While further research is warranted to study the specific process that links psychological experiences like loneliness with inflammation reduction, these initial findings demonstrate the potential benefits of meditation for the elderly community.

Share

Reduces Anxiety in Young Adults

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-63A study conducted at American University in Washington, D.C. found that practicing transcendental meditation (TM) can lower anxiety levels in college students. Students who participated in a TM program lasting three months demonstrated overall improvement in their mental health, with a particular improvement in rates of depression and anxiety. Learning to meditate had additional benefits for students diagnosed with hypertension who were also able to lower their blood pressure through the meditation program. Researchers note the importance of maintaining mental health among the young adult population, which faces intense social pressures during this transitional period in their lives, including stressors related to academics, finances, and their future.

Share

Increases Soldiers’ Mental Resilience

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

silhouette-165528_1280A recent study at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that mindfulness meditation can increase the mental toughness of soldiers preparing for war. Participants were Marines readying for deployment to Iraq who performed mindfulness meditation daily during the 8 week period leading up to their departure. Those who remained consistent with their meditation practice throughout the 8 weeks demonstrated an improvement in their memory capacity, as well as an enhanced ability to stay alert and in the moment without letting emotion overwhelm them. Researchers explain that these skills can function as a kind of “mental armor” for soldiers on the front line. Participants also reported more positive moods as a result of the program.

Share

Lessens the Experience of Pain

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

A man figure meditating on calm water during sunriseA study conducted at The University of Manchester found that regular meditation lessens people’s experience of pain, making it less intense and unpleasant. Researchers explain that this effect is due to the fact that meditating brains anticipate pain less, and thus do not focus as much attention on the physical sensation it causes. The study did suggest that these benefits are only experienced by veteran meditators who have been practicing for a prolonged period of time. In those meditators, the areas of the brain associated with pain anticipation showed less activity than those of less experienced meditators and participants who had never meditated. The study’s findings indicate potential for the future development of alternative pain management methods involving meditation.

Share

Decreases Anger

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-99A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology reported that practicing meditation can lower anger levels in individuals highly prone to anger responses. Participants with anger management issues who were taught meditation techniques demonstrated improvement in different anger-related areas including unconstructive coping, trait anger, anger evoked by high-anger situations, and physiological symptoms resulting from anger. Participants also showed improvement when trained in the reduction of negative thoughts. Meditating participants also made less negative self-statements in high anger-arousing situations than non-meditating participants. The study’s findings suggest that meditation is a promising alternative method of anger management treatment.

Share

Improves Physician Well-being

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-102Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have designed a continuing medical education (CME) course focused on improving physician well-being through mindful communication and meditation techniques. Physician burnout has long been an issue for medical practitioners, with up to 60% of physicians reporting high levels of personal and professional distress. Physicians participated in an 8-week intensive phase, which was followed by a 10-month maintenance period and encompassed mindfulness meditation, self-awareness exercises, and group discussion, among other activities. This new program has demonstrated improvement in participants’ sense of well-being, empathy, exhaustion levels and attitudes. The study also showed participants’ lower levels of reactivity to stressful events, and assisted them in cultivating a resilient attitude when confronted with adversity.

Share

Improves Teachers’ Emotional Well-being

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-103Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) found that meditation yielded improvement in the emotional well-being of teachers. The study involved the participation of female schoolteachers in an 8-week training program that was based on three types of meditative techniques, including concentration, mindfulness, and directive exercises. By enhancing their understanding of the relationship between thought and emotion, teachers were able to control their own emotional reactions more easily which resulted in lower levels of depression, stress and anxiety. The teaching profession is notably stressful, researchers acknowledged, indicating that the meditation program can have immediate positive effects in the participants’ daily lives, and could potentially also benefit the students that they teach.

Share

Improves Performance of Therapy Students

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-104A unique Marriage and Family Therapy program at Virginia Tech has found that integrating mindfulness meditation into its curriculum enhances therapy students’ performance and confidence levels. Especially among beginners, the skills learned from meditation help them learn to be emotionally present and focus their attention on the client during therapy sessions. Mindfulness meditation also helps therapy students distance themselves from a cold, problem-solving mentality and instead adopt an empathetic, compassionate therapeutic manner that enhances their level of responsiveness and rapport with the client. Mindfulness meditation teachers in the program found that therapists were more able to focus on others’ issues when they already felt centered and present internally.

Share

Enhances Caregiver Well-being

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-105A recent study out of UCLA suggests that practicing Kirtan Kriya meditation can greatly improve the well-being of caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. With more than 5.4 million people suffering from Alzheimer’s in the U.S., the total number of caregivers is high, and giving that type of care to another takes its emotional toll. Researchers found that practicing very brief daily meditation sessions through yoga (a mantra-based form of meditation called Kirtan Kriya) can greatly improve caregivers’ quality of life and lower depression levels. Since both meditation and yoga are known for their stress-reduction qualities, it makes sense that these mind-body techniques would help reduce the emotional distress of caregivers.

Share

Prevents the Resurgence of Depression

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-106Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada suggest that mindfulness meditation and therapy can work just as well as medication to prevent relapse into depression. This mindfulness-based approach assists patients to become mindful of meaningful events and increase their awareness of emotional triggers, the study reports. Those participants who had learned to meditate had a lower relapse rate than non-meditators, indicating meditation’s potential as an alternative treatment method. Given the fact that less than half of patients continue taking their medication regularly after experiencing a reprieve from symptoms of depression, mindfulness therapy is suggested as a useful substitute, or complement, to antidepressants.

Share

Relieves Symptoms of Depression

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-107Research at Oxford University indicates that a combination of meditation and cognitive therapy can relieve the symptoms of depression. Known as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), this approach focuses on cultivating mindfulness in patients through meditative techniques and cognitive-based therapy. The treatment yielded a significant decrease in the number of participants diagnosed with major depression, suggesting that MBCT is a promising potential treatment, especially for individuals with recurring bouts of depression. Researchers are currently developing a larger study that aims at pinpointing the specific meditative elements that are the most beneficial in reducing the rate of relapse among patients suffering from major depression.

Share

Meditation Can Lower Chronic Stress

Friday, January 17th, 2014

meditation-image-108Researchers at Ohio State University found that mindfulness meditation significantly lowers stress levels. Participants attended weekly group meetings in addition to practicing mindful awareness meditation for 20 minutes every day. Overall, individuals’ perceived stress levels decreased by over 10%. Since chronic stress can lead to chronic disease, becoming more aware of the external stressors in our lives can actually decrease our stress levels. While we cannot change the external events that happen in our lives, mindful meditation awareness may change the way we perceive those stressors. This meditation practice can positively affect how we live our day-to-day lives.

Share

Cultivates Coping Skills in Teens

Friday, January 17th, 2014

meditation-image-109A national conference held at University of California at San Diego is training teachers, parents, and other adults in different ways of encouraging the participation of young children and teenagers in mindfulness meditation as a way to decrease stress. This approach to meditation trains us how to become more mindful of our own inner thoughts and resilience. With bullying, health issues, personality disorders, and suicide levels increasing among younger generations, mindfulness meditation is seen as a positive way to help them become more aware and develop a heightened sense of self-control. One of the focuses of the conference is training teachers how to integrate mindfulness into the classroom. The sponsors of the conference hope to facilitate a more holistic integration of mindfulness across all areas of children’s lives.

Share

Helps Young Adults Manage Stress

Friday, January 17th, 2014

meditation-image-110A study at the Maharishi University found that Transcendental Meditation (TM) had myriad positive effects on college students. These included decreased psychological stress, decreased blood pressure, and a reduced risk of developing hypertension. Researchers suggested that TM could be extremely beneficial for those who are experiencing pressure stemming from academics, finances, or social life. Moreover, it was specifically recommended that young adults at risk of developing hypertension begin practicing this form of meditation as a non-medical approach to controlling blood pressure. Researchers suggested follow-up studies be developed in the future to evaluate the long-term effects of TM on blood pressure and psychological distress.

Share

Promotes General Psychological Health

Friday, January 17th, 2014

meditation-image-111Dr. William Marchand of the University of Utah at Salt Lake City evaluated the benefits of mindfulness meditation-based practices and found multiple cognitive benefits of three mindful techniques. The first, Zen meditation, involves the practice of developing mindfulness by focusing on breathing. Zen was found to be particularly helpful in pain management. The second technique, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), combines elements of meditation, education and yoga to facilitate patients’ development of stress and coping strategies. The third, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) uses principles of MSBR in clinical settings to combat depression. The study found much evidence of meditation’s positive cognitive effects in combating depression, anxiety, and general distress.

Share

Has Holistic Stress-Reducing Effects

Friday, January 17th, 2014

meditation-image-112A study at West Virginia University in Morgantown published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that mindfulness training performed in a community setting has overall stress-reducing effects on participants’ physical and mental health. The study was the first of its kind to be performed on people who report being “stressed out” but have not been formally diagnosed with anxiety or another type of psychiatric disorder. Researchers found that after participating in a 3-month mindfulness meditation program, the majority of participants had an average 54% decrease in the distress they experienced related to stress. Subjects also experienced a 46% drop in medical symptoms after completing the study.

Share

Increases Overall Happiness and Well-being

Friday, January 17th, 2014

meditation-image-113In an article published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, Britta Holzel reports that the basic goal of meditation – mindful awareness – has significant benefits for every aspect of our health and performance. Holzel identifies the four components of mindfulness as attention regulation, body awareness, emotion regulation, and sense of self. All of these components work together to vastly improve our health and performance of daily tasks, enhancing our overall sense of happiness and well-being in the present moment. Holzel stresses the importance of consistent practice and training in order to reap all the benefits of mindful meditation.

Share
  • LEARN HOW TO MEDITATE

    Get your free eBook now!


    This eBook reveals some of the top meditation techniques mentioned in this site. Learn:
    • Mindfulness Meditation
    • Transcendental Meditation
    • Binaural Beats
    • Tai Chi
    • Christian Meditation
    • Zen Meditation
    • Compassion Meditation
    • Kirtan Kriya
    • Samatha/Shamatha Meditation
    • Insight (Vipassana) Meditation