Have you ever thought of, or tried, mindfulness meditation as a means to beat anxiety? Well, surprising as it may sound, scientists have seen its positive effects in action.
Technology and research have advanced now to the point where scientists can observe the way in which meditation affects the brain to reduce anxiety.
Using special imaging technology, researchers in the USA have recently reported that they have determined the way in which meditation affects certain brain mechanisms.
While meditation is becoming more accepted as a method to significantly reduce anxiety in patients with anxiety and depression, this study is the very first to show the brain mechanisms associated with meditation-related anxiety relief in healthy people.
“In this study, we were able to see which areas of the brain were activated and which were deactivated during meditation-related anxiety relief.” said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., the lead author of the study.
In the study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, researchers followed 15 healthy volunteers with normal levels of everyday anxiety. Participants took four 20-minute classes to learn a technique known as ‘mindfulness meditation.’
Their brain activity was examined before and after meditation using a special type of imaging that’s very effective at imaging brain processes, such as meditation. Anxiety reports were also measured before and after brain scanning.
Study participants reported decreases in anxiety ratings by as much as 39 percent.
“Just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation can help reduce normal everyday anxiety,” Zeidan said.
“Mindfulness is premised on sustaining attention in the present moment and controlling the way we react to daily thoughts and feelings,” Zeidan said.
“Interestingly, the findings reveal that the brain regions associated with meditation-related anxiety relief are remarkably consistent with the principles of being mindful.”
If you’d like to experience the benefits of mindfulness meditation in your people and organisation, mojow can organise classes for up to 20 people.
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