Since the 2000’s, people’s interest in meditation and mindfulness has grown as life’s frenetic pace causes more and more stress. In order to find peace, common mortals turned their attention to meditation. And so did science. Does mindfulness really help to combat stress and depression?
Meditation is becoming more and more popular. Approximately 275 million people meditate around the world. At the same time, scientific studies sprouted to understand if it really helps against psychological disorders. The number of trials related to mindfulness has jumped. From 1995 where there was only one study about the topic, there were more than 200 in 2015.
Which Benefits According to Science?
According to a Harvard study, benefits to reduce physical and mental conditions were noticed in the subjects who used to meditate. The study even noticed that mindfulness reduces fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, anxiety, psoriasis, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Gaëlle Desbordes, a professor in radiology at Harvard Medical School, explored mindfulness meditation. She used magnetic resonance to do so. The tool records brain activity during the scan. She noticed that subjects who learned to meditate remain focused even when they’re not meditating. Be lucky and get happy with online casino.
The main reason why millions of people are meditating is to reduce stress caused by daily life.
Mental and physical stress cause increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. An excess of this hormone leads to inflammatory syndromes in muscles and fascias. Sometimes it becomes a chronic pain.
As a consequence, it can cause lack of sleep, it can boost depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure, and lead to constant tiredness.
The JAMA Internal Medicine reviewed more than 40 trials with over 3 000 participants. They concluded that mindfulness meditation has an improved effect for stress reduction. In an 8-week study, meditation reduced the inflammatory symptoms due to stress.
Stress reduction leads to less anxiety. Another study from the Journal Clinical Psychiatry conducted an 8-week observation of mindfulness meditation. It concluded that the practice helps reduce anxiety symptoms in people with severe anxiety disorder.
Another study led by the Psychiatric Clinics of North America, notes that a variety of mindfulness practices may reduce anxiety. It includes yoga. Benefits are most probably due to the mix of mindfulness and physical practice.
Improvement In Depression
In the Psychosomatics review, over 20 studies showed that people who received meditation therapies experienced less symptoms of depression, in comparison with those in a group that did not receive meditation therapies.
In a recent study, Harvard Gaëlle Desbordes, explored meditation’s effects on the brains of clinically depressed patients. Desbordes performed scans before and after an 8-week course in mindfulness therapy. People with severe depression have a tendency to diminish themselves. During the scans, they were told to repeat diminishing phrases about themselves. After a moment, participants were asked to stop repeating these phrases. Desbordes noticed that those who went through the meditation session disconnected easily from negative thoughts. The people from the group that did not go through the meditation session, on the contrary, had a hard time letting go of these thoughts.
There are still plenty of studies that should be led to thoroughly understand how meditation heals mental disorders. The good part is that meditation is a natural and free way to the path of happiness.