The Difference 10 Minutes of Mindfulness Meditation Makes
Mindfulness meditation practiced as little as ten minutes a day can make a surprising difference in your life. The reason is that it helps to keep the information active in your mind. That process is called “working memory.”
Recent research has described the process that mindfulness meditation produces as helping the brain to become more efficient. In fact, practicing it regularly, even for as little as ten minutes per day, makes the brain require fewer resources to accomplish the same tasks.
Scientific Evidence for Mindfulness Meditation
Over the years, there have been a lot of large claims made about mindfulness meditation. That said, science has struggled to be able to back those claims. In fact, for a long time, evidence was lacking altogether. That said, a study now published in Scientific Reports addressed many of the shortcomings of prior research. Moreover, it helped to underscore some of the changes that occur while people meditate.
Two teams of researchers, including those from Germany’s Osnabrück University. They conducted a randomized controlled study to look into the impact of mindfulness meditation on the cognitive functions most central to everyday life.
The Mindfulness Meditation Study
The new research involved thirty four participants. These participants were divided into two groups. The first group practiced mindfulness meditation . The second group was the control group, so they took part in muscle relaxation exercises. As this study required the control group to take part in a task instead of doing nothing at all, it ruled out alternative reasons task performance was changed. This method is called active controls research.
The research also addressed other limitations from prior studies. For instance, some of the previous studies involved cognitive tasks that were too simple. In fact, they were simple enough that all participants achieved an optimum level, which failed to reflect any potential benefits of meditating.
The participants were required to complete certain cognitive tests a few days both before and after practicing either the relaxation exercises or the mindfulness meditation over a span of eight weeks. Those who were required to meditate did so around four times per week throughout the eight week span.
The participants in the mindfulness meditation group experienced measurable cognitive improvements. For example, their mental accuracy on the tests rose by 9 percent. This revealed that both their working memory and their concentration had improved. There were no improvements measured among the control group participants.