Buddhists have been using mindful meditation since the Buddha reached awareness and nirvana through its practice. He then passed on the process to his followers. Practitioners have always claimed that it lowers stress and increases happiness. In recent years, meditation has gone mainstream, even in secular, Western culture. Places such as schools and police departments have even adopted meditation as a way to deal with daily stress.
More than sitting with legs crossed, eyes closed and chanting, “omm… omm…,” mindful meditation as a powerful tool to fight anxiety has finally caught the attention of researchers.
Guess what? The research shows that mindful meditation really is pretty darn effective for managing stress.
On the Quest for Mindful Happiness
Anything that helps you to be happier every day is fantastic nourishment for the soul. The happier we are and the more positive our thoughts and actions become, the more easily we can manifest what we desire into our lives. With mindful meditation, the practitioner focuses on self, the breath, and the moment in time. You don’t have to be adept at completely clearing your mind. You simply learn to focus in the moment and on your body and use breathing techniques to lower anxiety. Not only is it so simple that anyone can learn it, but it has been now shown through science to provide a measurable benefit to life.
The Study of Mindful Meditation
The University of Massachusetts recently released a 2017 study on the results of 72 participants with Generalized Anxiety Disorder who took an 8-week course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR). The study, published in the journal Psychiatry Research, didn’t just rely upon anecdotal evidence of the subjects reporting that they felt better due to the meditation practices they learned. Rather, they actually checked physiological markers for stress hormones and pro-inflammatory cytokines and were able to prove that these things were lowered in the anxious patients after the program.
So, the next time some naysayer scoffs at the power of mindful meditation to truly reduce stress and increase happiness, you can remind them that science says it very well may even be effective when other things have failed to help guide people to more positive, healthier ways of thinking.