Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

Multiple Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness




ifong/Shutterstock.com

Even a single mindfulness meditation session can significantly reduce anxiety and lower heart rates, Michigan Technological University research shows. Fourteen people with mild to moderate anxiety participated in a 20-minute introductory meditation, a 30-minute mindful scan of each body part seeking areas of stress and a 10-minute self-guided meditation. An hour later, the meditators showed both lower resting heart rates and anxiety levels. A week later, they continued to report less anxiety.

Another study at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland, uncovered an anatomical reason why breath-based meditation practices can enhance mental clarity and focus, as yogis have long claimed. The research focused on a small area in the brain called the locus coeruleus, which is responsible for producing an action hormone and neurotransmitter called noradrenaline. They found that this part of the brain is affected by our inhaling and exhaling patterns.

“Put simply, this means that our attention is influenced by our breath, and that it rises and falls with the cycle of respiration,” says lead author Michael Melnychuk. “It is possible that by focusing on and regulating your breathing, you can optimize your attention level.”


This article appears in the December 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Fight Back Naturally When Allergies Put the Bite on Pets

Because they’re built lower to the ground, our dogs and cats can pick up seasonal allergens on fur from grass, weeds, pollen, lawn chemicals and fleas.

Saving a Drop to Drink

Fresh water supplies are dwindling globally, including in the U.S., yet we can do things on a personal level to help hold onto this finite resource.

Air Care for Kids

Kids are especially sensitive to the pollen, chemicals, dust mites, mold and pet dander that cause allergies, but simple strategies can keep these culprits in check.

Boost Metabolism

For someone looking for new options for a true metabolic boost that keeps us alive or thriving, one can turn to a number of treatments that employ the body’s innate ability to self-regulate and correct systemic imbalances.

New Customized Sexification Program

Sacred Temple Arts is offering a new 10-session Sexification Program.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Boost Metabolism

Using Science and Your Own Body
For someone looking for new options for a true metabolic boost that keeps us alive or thriving, one can turn to a number of treatments that employ the body’s innate ability to self-regulate and correct systemic imbalances.

New Customized Sexification Program

Sacred Temple Arts is offering a new 10-session Sexification Program.

Revolution Community Yoga Public Open House

Revolution Community Yoga will host a free Annual Open House from 2:30 to 6 p.m., March 23.

Live Online Qigong Coming Soon

Tao and Zen Healing will soon be adding live, online qigong classes and practice sessions to their list of offerings.

A Course in Living Plant-Based Nutrition

Join raw foods educator and Master Chef Rawbert Reid from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., April 6 and/or 7, at the Montserrat Building, in Beverly, for a one- or two-day course in living nutrition.

Resolving Allergies

Breathe in Through the Nose
One of the best ways to eliminate or reduce allergens from entering the body is to breathe in through the nose.