Just 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation alleviates stress

July 2, 2014
Science Daily/Carnegie Mellon University
Mindfulness meditation has become an increasingly popular way for people to improve their mental and physical health, yet most research supporting its benefits has focused on lengthy, weeks-long training programs. New research is the first to show that brief mindfulness meditation practice -- 25 minutes for three consecutive days -- alleviates psychological stress. The study investigates how mindfulness meditation affects people's ability to be resilient under stress.

The participants who received the brief mindfulness meditation training reported reduced stress perceptions to the speech and math tasks, indicating that the mindfulness meditation fostered psychological stress resilience. More interestingly, on the biological side, the mindfulness mediation participants showed greater cortisol reactivity.

"When you initially learn mindfulness mediation practices, you have to cognitively work at it -- especially during a stressful task," said Creswell. "And, these active cognitive efforts may result in the task feeling less stressful, but they may also have physiological costs with higher cortisol production."

Creswell's group is now testing the possibility that mindfulness can become more automatic and easy to use with long-term mindfulness meditation training, which may result in reduced cortisol reactivity.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140702122535.htm

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