Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just a little meditation

Every morning after asana practice, Richard would have us do sitting meditation for at least 10 minutes. I'd like to continue that now that I'm back home (here’s why), but it's HARD to create new habits and I find myself falling back into my old routines.

It’s already known that long-term meditation improves concentration, attention, mood, and stress levels. But what about those of us who just do it for a few days here and there? Does that help us focus our attention, limit mental chatter, or improve functioning? Or is it something we would have to keep up for months/years before it would be of any help?

Good news! This study just came out showing that short-term meditation (4 days for 20 minutes/day) has measurable benefits.

They looked at 65 people with no prior meditation experience, splitting them into two groups: one group did mindfulness meditation for four day (20 minutes/day), while the control group listened to The Hobbit on audiotape.

The meditation group had the following benefits when compared with controls:
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Improved attention
  • Improved working memory
  • Improved executive functioning 
That’s after only 4 days! This makes me wonder about other changes might happen in the body after just four days of meditation: Blood flow in the brain? Cortisol? Inflammation? Oxidative stress levels? Telomeres/telomerase?

It's nice to know that even if I don't sit and meditate every day, at least a little is still helpful.

1 comment:

  1. I love it when you posts studies that prove the benefits! :-)