Only a one-hour session of mindfulness meditation can provide psychological and cardiovascular benefits to adults with mild to moderate anxiety states, according to a recent study by researchers from Michigan Technological
As more and more scientific evidence shows that meditation reduces anxiety over several weeks, there have been few comprehensive studies on the benefits of a single meditation session.
In the new study, the researchers wanted to investigate the effects of acute mindfulness on cognition and the cardiovascular system in 14 study participants. Their findings, presented at the 2018 Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego, could help improve the development of anti-anxiety therapies and interventions.
The research team found that at 60 minutes after meditation the resting heart rate and heart rate reduction were reduced. Pulsatile aortic load, the amount of change in blood pressure between diastole and systole of each heartbeat multiplied by heart rate
In addition, participants reported shortly after Meditation and even a week later, her anxiety levels were lower than before (19659003) "Even a single hour of meditation seems to reduce anxiety and some of the markers of cardiovascular risk," Dr. John Durocher, Lecturer in Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University.
Durocher said the study is based on a research design proposed by newly graduated Hannah Marti.
In an orientation session, participants' anxiety levels were measured using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). She also underwent cardiovascular tests that included heart rate variability, resting blood pressure, and pulse wave analysis.
Next, they attended a meditation session, the repetition of cardiovascular tests, and mindfulness meditation: 20 minutes introductory meditation, 30 minutes body scan, and 10 minutes self-directed meditation
They repeated the cardiovascular measurements immediately after the Meditation and 60 minutes afterwards. They went through a post-meditation anxiety test a week later.
During a body exam, the participant is asked to focus intensively on a part of the body, starting with the toes. By focusing on individual parts of the body, a person can train their minds to move from one moment to the next, from a detailed attention to a wider consciousness.
"The point of a body scan is that if you can focus on a single part of your body, just your big toe, it can make it a lot easier for you to deal with some stress in your life focus on one part of it instead of paying attention to everything else in your life, "Marti said.
One participant in the study stated that they were the least stressed after the session.
Durocher and Marti conducted the study with Brigitte Morin, a lecturer in biological sciences, and PhD student Travis Wakeham.
Source: Michigan Technological University
APA Reference  Pedersen, T. (2018). An hour of mindfulness meditation can help anxiety, cardiovascular health. Psychocentral .
Accessed on April 22, 2018 from https://psychcentral.com/news/2018/04/22/hour-of-mindfulness-meditation-may-help-anxiety-cardiovascular-health/134791.html