Stress and anxiety are, along with obesity and depression, among the new “pandemics” of the 21st century. And worst of all, those are often problems that are diagnosed late when not much can be done except following medical treatment. Luckily, mindfulness meditation (conscious meditation) can ease anxiety and reduce cardiovascular disease risks, a recent study revealed.
There are already studies focused on Yoga that suggest that, like other types of aerobic exercise, it can reduce stress levels. The UN itself described meditation and Yoga as “healthy practices that can contribute in a holistic way to achieving a balance between mind and body.”
Researchers at the Michigan Technological University (MTU) studied mindfulness meditation
There are also many studies on the benefits of mindfulness meditation that indicate that practicing it for several weeks reduces anxiety. However, there is far less research on the potential benefits of a single session of mindfulness. And that’s what a team of researchers at MTU have been trying to measure, looking to improve the therapies being used to deal with anxiety.
The bottom line, just one hour of mindfulness meditation can reduce your anxiety levels and lower the risk factors that directly affect your heart health.
According to the researchers, preliminary data from the study, in which fourteen people participated, suggest that a single meditation session can benefit adults with mild to moderate anxiety on a cardiovascular and psychological level.
Mindfulness meditation can reduce anxiety and is beneficial for the cardiovascular system
To measure the anxiety of the subjects, they used a tool called Beck’s Anxiety Inventory (BAI), a 21 questions form aimed at assessing the severity of anxiety. Besides, the researchers also performed a series of cardiovascular tests to measure variations in heart rate, resting blood pressure and pulse fluctuations.
Participants then underwent a mindfulness meditation session for 1 hour.
The cardiovascular measurements were repeated immediately after and also one hour later, and a new anxiety test was performed after one week. The results showed that a single session of mindfulness meditation had helped the participants in reducing anxiety and lowering the cardiovascular disease risks.