Here is some of the enormous amount of research currently being done on meditators–and other information and links:
U.C. Berkeley News
Insurance News Net
Archives of General Psychiatry
Meditation as Effective as Antidepressants, according to a study published in December, 2010. (summary of findings)
Wandering Minds Less Happy Than Focused Ones, Nov 2010–People often think about things other than what they’re doing and it generally makes them unhappy, a new study finds. (article)
Medical News Today
Mindfulness Leads to Positive Effects on Brain and Immune Function
(2002) Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, conducted a randomized, controlled study on the effects on brain and immune function of an 8-week MBSR course. The study found greater activation on the left side of brain, associated with more positive affect. The study also found significant increases in immune function re: the influenza virus.
Mindfulness Lowers Blood Pressure
(2013) In a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, MBSR was found to lower blood pressure for patients with borderline high blood pressure or “prehypertension.”
Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Produces Significantly Less Relapse Risk
(2014) This study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that for individuals in aftercare following initial treatment for substance abuse disorders, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention and Relapse Prevention produced significantly reduced relapse risk to drug use and heavy drinking compared with treatment as usual.
Mindfulness Decreases Pain
(2010) Zen meditators showed structural brain changes (in terms of cortical thickness) related to decreased sensitivity to thermal pain in pain-related brain regions using fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
Mindfulness Decreases Burnout
(2012) A study published in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine found that a continuing education course of mindfulness-based stress reduction was associated with significant improvements in burnout scores and mental well-being for a broad range of healthcare providers.
Other studies have found that the benefits of mindfulness include:
Reduced Rumination (Chambers et al., 2008)
Stress Reduction (Hoffman et al. 2010)
Boosts to Working Memory (Jha et al, m2010)
Greater Focus (Moore and Malinowski, 2009)
Less Emotional Reactivity (Ortner et al., 2007)
Greater Cognitive Flexibility (Davidson, 2000; Davidson, Jackson, & Kalin, 2000)
Relationship satisfaction (Barnes et al., 2007, Dekeyser el al., 2008, Barnes et al., 2007; Wachs & Cordova, 2007)
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