Humans have been meditating for a long time, possibly even dating back as early as 2600 BC. Some historians even believe that the application of focused concentration may have contributed to the final phases of human development. But how much meditation is necessary for a quantifiable benefit? While it probably varies from person to person, researchers from the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences set out to find an answer to that question. The results have been published in the scientific journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
The study sought to establish how well people who meditate respond to and cope with strenuous mental and performance activities. The three-day experiment required one group to meditate for 25 minutes each day while a control group underwent the final cognitive training exercise without this daily exercise.
At this exercise, the participants were asked to solve math problems and execute public speaking tasks in front of a “stern-faced” group of judges while their stress and hormone levels were monitored. Researchers found that the group who had meditated daily had a biologically quantifiable advantage over the non-meditators.
Although 25 minutes a day seems arbitrary (and will produce varied results from person to person), these findings may provide the scientific springboard for others to try meditation as a stress-relief method!
Featured photo credit: Wiertz Sébastien via farm7.staticflickr.com