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Archive for ‘Reduces stress’

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Reduces Stress Responses

Friday, January 17th, 2014

meditation-image-114A study at Emory University revealed that those who practiced compassion meditation (CM) showed lower levels in inflammation and distress when presented with common stressors. While many different types of meditation focus on improving concentration, lowering stress levels, and calming the mind, compassion meditation focuses on moving from responses based on judgment to those based on caring, as well as a transition from social isolation to connection. The study attempted to determine the effects of CM on certain responses to psychosocial stress. Its findings reveal that CM can be used to prevent a number of health issues associated with stress including depression, heart disease, and diabetes.

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Changes Brain Function to Assuage Fear and Stress

Friday, January 17th, 2014

meditation-image-115A study performed at the University of Massachusetts Medical School with employees at a high-tech firm facing high levels of stress found that meditation changed their brain function, diminishing fear and stress responses as a result. By examining participants’ brain activity neuroscientists determined that those who meditate actually shift their brain activity to different cerebral regions away from areas that trigger fear and stress-based reactions. Brain activity of meditators was repositioned to another part of the brain that is instead associated with calm feelings. Over time, this shift in cerebral activity became even more pronounced, suggesting that meditation has the potential to lead individuals into a happier and calmer state.

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