We’ve all heard it before: stress and aggravation reduces our life expectancy and our general well-being. As overly stated as it may be, it’s all very true. People with anxiety and stress often experience repetitive thoughts, which in turn distract us and greatly affect our overall productivity. But what if you could prevent all of that in 10 simple minutes? In the time it takes for your coffee to percolate, you could do your own body a great service.
A new study is showing that simply 10 minutes a day of focused meditation can reduce the mind wandering that stems from high amounts of aggravation. Past research on meditation has determined that it can help prevent “off-task thinking,” but this new study from Consciousness and Cognition attempted to determine mindfulness specifically and its relation to anxiety.
Researchers from the University of Waterloo found 82 college students who all claimed to suffer from serious anxiety and had them perform a computer test that measured their focusing abilities. They were split into two groups; one group listened to an audiobook, and the other group listened to a voice that guided them through breathing exercises and encouraged them to open their minds. Those who listened to the audiobook actually experienced more mind wandering than those in the other group.
The meditating group also described a reduction in “future-oriented thoughts,” down from 35% to 25%. Researchers predicted that this may have been due to the way in which they were forced to focus less on the things of the future (that looming test tomorrow, for instance) to more immediate things going on around them. Stressing out about things in the future is a marked indication of internal anxiety.
While the meditation exercises weren’t immediate and entire in their stress-reducing capabilities, they did provide conclusive evidence that a simple 10 minutes of prying yourself away from future thoughts or present worries was a sure-fire way to reduce your anxiety and brighten your mood.
Does this sound like something you need in your own life? SHARE this article if you know others who could benefit from this as well, and check out the video below that can help you start towards reducing your stress!