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Mindfulness Meditation: Clinical Tests Show How Mindfulness Can Relieve Stress

By Donna Marie Lapena Padua , Jan 25, 2017 11:58 AM EST
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A resent research showed how mindfulness meditation can help in the overall health of a person. Furthermore, these mindfulness practices are believed to help the human body respond to stressful situations which in turn can cause heart attacks. Researchers engaged several people with whom they have reached such assumptions.

The study that was published involved people who were found out to have anxiety disorder. These people then took an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation where they reportedly learned how to focus on the present moment whole accepting difficult thoughts or feelings. After the whole course, researchers found that these participants have showed lower levels of stress hormones as well as markers of inflammation while under stress compared with how they reacted before the taking the course.

A published report of the study can be found on the journal Psychiatry Research. It has further revealed that to get fresh evidences on the effects of mindfulness meditation on stress relief, researches compared a group of people who took the course with those who did not. The participants though have not showed lower levels of stress hormones or reduced markers of inflammation after their course.

"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," Dr. Elizabeth A. Hoge, researcher and associate psychiatry professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, said in a statement as noted by EurekaAlert. Prior this, there were already studies that claim psychological and physical health benefits linked to mindfulness meditation.

In the new study, there were 89 people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) who participated in the mindfulness meditation course. These participants were randomly assigned to enroll either the mindfulness meditation course or the stress-management education course. Lessons on ways to reduce stress were introduced to the group. Factors like good nutrition, healthy sleep habits and time management were also observed among participants.

As was reported by the Medical Daily, before and after the courses, people enrolled in the research underwent laboratory tests that were basically created to induce stress. Researchers then monitored blood-based markers which can reveal a patient’s stress levels. Following this, it was then found that those who underwent meditation class had significantly reduced stress responses, compared to those did not take the education class. Results were then published in the Psychiatry Research.

Participants were asked to give a speech before evaluators who were in white coats. The speakers were given only a few minutes to prepare. They were then asked to do mental arithmetic. Researchers then tested blood samples taken before and after the test to analyze the specimen.

From these, researchers got results that suggest that mindfulness meditation "may be a helpful strategy to decrease biological stress reactivity" in people with anxiety disorder as noted by Live Science. The researchers of the study suggest that future researches should look into more realistic situations. The team suggested to look into who mindfulness meditation can act on real-life stresses rather than lab-prepared stressors.

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