According to a latest research, meditating for just about 25 minutes a day, and consecutively for three days can lessen psychological stress significantly.
The study carried out by Carnegie Mellon University indicates reveals that meditation is a good way of reducing psychological stress.
Mindfulness meditation includes focusing on breathing as well as developing increased consciousness of the present. A research conducted earlier showed that people who followed mindfulness meditation had changes in their brain regions linked with thinking, memory and learning.
According to a news release, J. David Creswell, the study’s lead author, and an associate professor of psychology at Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said, “More and more people report using meditation practices for stress reduction, but we know very little about how much you need to do for stress reduction and health benefits.”
The study involved 66 participants, having ages between 18 and 30 years, who were divided in two groups. One group was put at mindfulness meditation for 25 minutes, regularly for three days. The other group was offered a cognitive training program, that lasted for three days, in they had to critically study poetry.
Afterwards, all the participants were required to complete a math and speech test. The participants provided the samples of saliva after the tests had completed. The saliva samples were taken in order to measure the levels of a particular stress hormone named Cortisol.
The researchers concluded that people who undertook meditation program reported less levels of psychological stress as compared to the control group. However, the meditation group also had increased levels of Cortisol.
Creswell said, “When you initially learn mindfulness mediation practices, you have to cognitively work at it – especially during a stressful task. And, these active cognitive efforts may result in the task feeling less stressful, but they may also have physiological costs with higher Cortisol production.”
According to researchers, long-term meditation program might also lessen the levels of Cortisol in saliva.
The study was later published in the journal “Psychoneuroendocrinology.”