It’s well known that mindfulness meditation can help us improve our mental and physical health. Until now, most research supporting its benefits has focused on lengthy training programs.
But a study from Carnegie Mellon University is the first to show that brief mindfulness meditation practice can also alleviate psychological stress. The study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, – found that 25 minutes for three consecutive days – can boost people’s ability to be resilient under stress.
Researchers had 66 healthy individuals old participate in a three-day experiment. Some went through a brief mindfulness meditation training program, and a second group of participants completed a three-day cognitive training program designed to enhance problem-solving skills.
Following the training, all participants were asked to complete stressful speech and math tasks. Each individual reported their stress levels and provided saliva samples for measurement of cortisol, commonly referred to as the stress hormone.
The participants who received the brief mindfulness meditation training reported reduced stress and more interestingly, on the biological side, the mindfulness mediation participants showed greater cortisol reactivity.
The research group is now testing how to make mindfulness more automatic and easy.