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It’s Official: Meditation Reduces Stress!

It’s Official: Meditation Reduces Stress!

A recent study looked at the link between yoga and stress reduction and found concrete proof that yoga and meditation help reduce your body’s reactions to stress.

Anyone who meditates or does yoga knows that after a session, you feel more relaxed, more at ease, but those experiences are tough to quantify. Sure, you feel calmer, but how is that feeling linked to your overall health? Scientists at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Subjects created a study to do just that!

Related Reading: 4 Meditation Myths: Busted!

The sample size for this study was small, but the results are still hard to ignore. Twenty six people who had never practiced yoga or meditation before went through 8 weeks of meditation training, and the researchers did blood analysis throughout that period. They were looking for chemical indicators in the blood that are part of our natural response to stress, the “fight or flight” response. As the subjects practiced meditation more and more, their bloodwork indicated fewer and fewer of these stress responses.

So, what does it all mean?

Stress is terrible for your body and has been linked to all sorts of health problems, like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Basically, this study proved empirically that meditation is not just relaxing but actually changes your body’s chemistry to make you better equipped to handle stressful situations. According to one of the study’s authors, practicing yoga or meditation for 10-20 minutes twice a day can have long-term benefits to your health.

Need some resources to help you get started with yoga or meditation? Check out some of these:

Do you practice yoga or meditation? What are your favorite resources to help you keep up the habit?

Related
6 Myths About Stress
8 Ways Meditation Can Save Your Life
12 Inexpensive Ways to Relieve Stress

Read more: Fitness, General Health, Health, Mental Wellness, Stress, Yoga, , , , , , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

61 comments

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9:29AM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

For all the non-believers that need the scientific proof

5:56AM PDT on Jun 6, 2013

R and noted

9:15PM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

noway, we who does this already knows it

4:29AM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

It's the healed heart at work

3:21AM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

Thanks

2:04AM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

informational

2:51AM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

ty

5:33AM PDT on May 31, 2013

This is not news, there has been masses of research published on the benefits of meditation from at least the late 70s. The bulk of this research has been published on the effects of the TM technique. Probably because TM is taught in a carefully controlled and consistent method, hence TM subjects will be practising in a very similar way. It is worth noting that the US Government is spending millions on research on TM. The reason that carefully controlling the teaching is that the stay & play response from meditation would appear to be a resonance effect? Have you tried pushing a swing at the wrong frequency... you do not get a good result. Teaching mediation is the same, that errors in teaching can quickly degrade it's effectiveness, Not controlling the teaching is similar to the gave of Chinese Whispers, were the message is distorted quite quickly.

For the effect of meditation, measuring anxiety is a great measure, it shows that the great variety of meditation techniques produce a great variety of results, with some producing less peace that progressive muscle relaxation! Hence do not assume that all meditation results produce the same results as a technique that has been tested in the lab. There are many who complain about the cost, but there is the proverb in the UK that you get what you pay for...

11:23PM PDT on May 30, 2013

Just don't meditate about politics too long...

8:04PM PDT on May 30, 2013

well duh, of course it is great

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