Just Three Mindful Meditation Sessions Reduce Stress
Seriously, who has the patience for mindfulness? For that matter, who has the patience to read about mindfulness? Happily, good news comes in a study from Carnegie Mellon University, where researchers are persuaded that just three 25-minute sessions of mindfulness meditation is sufficient to alleviate psychological stress. A Carnegie Mellon news release reports that researchers had 66 people between 18 and 30 years old participate in a three-day experiment. Some went through a brief mindfulness meditation training program; for 25 minutes for three consecutive days, they were given breathing exercises to help them monitor their breath and pay attention to their present moment experiences. A second group completed a matched three-day cognitive training program in which they were asked to critically analyze poetry in an effort to enhance problem-solving skills. When it was done, all participants were asked to complete stressful speech and math tasks in front of stern-faced evaluators. Each individual reported their stress levels in response to stressful speech and math performance stress tasks, and provided saliva samples for measurement of cortisol, commonly referred to as the stress hormone. The envelope please…. the researchers found that those who received the brief mindfulness meditation training reported reduced stress perceptions to the speech and math tasks, indicating that the mindfulness meditation fostered psychological stress resilience. Wait, there’s more: the mindfulness meditation participants showed greater cortisol reactivity.