Mindfulness meditation is a modern version of a Buddhist practice. The feature that made it popular is that anybody can practice it wherever they are. People can meditate when they are eating or when they are even during a meeting. The main goal of being mindful is to get rid of thoughts about the past and future and live in the present. While it helps many professionals focus better on their work, scientists have just found evidence of its recreational effects.
A new study published in Psychiatry Research shed more light on the beneficial effects of practicing mindfulness meditation. When people talk about meditation, they usually think of spiritual results. However, as of recently, the scientific world confirmed real effects of such kind of practice. A team of researchers from the Georgetown University Medical Department of Psychiatry has collected data from 89 participants in their study. They selected only patients who suffer from anxiety disorders.
The group was split into two parts. Half of them participated in a stress reduction course based on mindfulness meditation for eight weeks. The rest of them attended stress management classes within the same period of time. Researchers gave everyone a standard experimental test before and after their training session. The results of the test revealed their level of stress based on different blood-based markers.
The findings spoke volumes of the mental state of the participants. The half of the group that took part in mindfulness classes showed signs of powerful recreational effects. On the other hand, the people who joined stress management courses had their mind state degraded. This study is an important one as it is among the few ones focused on mindfulness which avoided the placebo effects.
In the past, many teams of researchers wanted to understand how mindfulness meditation can improve attention span, heal addiction, lower blood pressure, and alleviate pain. However, their studies used to compare a group of people who practice meditation to a group that has no similar activity. Thus, the results of these studies might be biased. The active participants might experience the placebo effect as they are aware of the fact that they get the correct treatment. However, the new Georgetown research managed to overcome such obstacles by keeping both parties occupied with similar activities.
At the moment, anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States. Based on this new study that proved the recreational effects of mindfulness meditation, people who suffer from anxiety can beneficiate from a new non-intrusive treatment.
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