Mindfulness meditation can soothe the anxious soul in just one introductory session

Recent research by Dr. Durocher in the department of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University suggests that people can begin to derive psychological and physiological benefits from the practice after a single introductory session. This could help to reduce stress on organs like the brain and kidneys and help prevent conditions such as high blood pressure.”

He along with his team of researchers recruited 14 participants who had normal blood pressure but high levels of anxiety. They measured factors related to cardiovascular functioning — including heart rate, blood pressure, aortic blood pressure (blood pressure in the aorta, specifically) and arterial stiffness — before and after a 60-minute guided introductory session of mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation emphasizes focusing on breathing and awareness of one’s thoughts.

The results demonstrate that even a single, brief intervention can yield measurable improvements in people with anxiety. Researchers said most participants reported continuing to use mindfulness after the initial session and anxiety scores were reduced even further one week later.

This study is different as it examined the effect of a single mindfulness meditation session on anxiety and cardiovascular outcomes, while other studies have examined the effect of several days or weeks of mindfulness meditation,” Durocher said. “The results suggest that a single mindfulness meditation session may help to reduce cardiovascular risk in those with moderate anxiety.”

Source: Experimental Biology 2018