A rather simple technique could dramatically reduce your stress levels, a groundbreaking new study has found.
A new study has hope for all those in the world who suffer with constant stress. The practice of meditation has long been hailed as a way to deal with the stress in your life, but a new study has provided scientific evidence of just how much it can reduce your stress.
For the study, participants with anxiety disorder took an eight-week course in meditation, which teaches them to focus on the moment and accept difficult thoughts. After the course, researchers found lower levels of stress hormones when faced with a difficult situation compared to how they acted before the course.
The researchers also compared the group to those who had stress management courses not involving meditation, and those who got meditation training outperformed them. Other studies have found psychological and physical health benefits to meditation, and specifically mindfulness meditation. This study is important because most previous studies had compared meditation groups to groups that did nothing to manage their stress, whereas this study included those on other stress management courses.
“Mindfulness meditation training is a relatively inexpensive and low-stigma treatment approach, and these findings strengthen the case that it can improve resilience to stress,” said lead author Elizabeth A. Hoge, MD, associate professor in Georgetown University Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, in a statement.
“We were testing the patients’ resilience,” Hoge said, “because that’s really the ultimate question–can we make people handle stress better?”
The statement added: “Hoge and colleagues also found — as they reported in an earlier paper on this study — that the meditation group patients, compared to controls, experienced significantly greater reductions in self-reported measures of stress after their course. The study adds to evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in treating anxiety, Hoge said. She noted too that with its rigorous “active control” design, it provides a good paradigm for the future study of interventions such as meditation, to which patients cannot be blinded.”