Nav: Home

Just 10 minutes of meditation helps anxious people have better focus

May 01, 2017

Just 10 minutes of daily mindful mediation can help prevent your mind from wandering and is particularly effective if you tend to have repetitive, anxious thoughts, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

The study, which assessed the impact of meditation with 82 participants who experience anxiety, found that developing an awareness of the present moment reduced incidents of repetitive, off-task thinking, a hallmark of anxiety.

"Our results indicate that mindfulness training may have protective effects on mind wandering for anxious individuals," said Mengran Xu, a researcher and PhD candidate at Waterloo. "We also found that meditation practice appears to help anxious people to shift their attention from their own internal worries to the present-moment external world, which enables better focus on a task at hand."

The term mindfulness is commonly defined as paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgement.

As part of the study, participants were asked to perform a task on a computer while experiencing interruptions to gauge their ability to stay focused on the task. Researchers then put the participants into two groups at random, with the control group given an audio story to listen to and the other group asked to engage in a short meditation exercise prior to being reassessed.

"Mind wandering accounts for nearly half of any person's daily stream of consciousness," said Xu. "For people with anxiety, repetitive off-task thoughts can negatively affect their ability to learn, to complete tasks, or even function safely.

"It would be interesting to see what the impacts would be if mindful meditation was practiced by anxious populations more widely."

The study, co-authored by Waterloo psychology professors Christine Purdon and Daniel Smilek and Harvard University's Paul Seli, was published in Consciousness and Cognition.
-end-


University of Waterloo

Related Meditation Articles:

Meditation and yoga can 'reverse' DNA reactions which cause stress, new study suggests
Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don't simply relax us; they can 'reverse' the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Radboud.
Study documents range of challenging meditation experiences
Though it has gained popularity in the West as medically and psychologically beneficial, meditation can produce a much wider variety of outcomes, not all of them calm and relaxing, according to a new study that analyzes meditation-related challenges.
Just 10 minutes of meditation helps anxious people have better focus
Just 10 minutes of daily mindful mediation can help prevent your mind from wandering and is particularly effective if you tend to have repetitive, anxious thoughts, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.
Meditation benefits patients with ALS
An eight-week mindfulness-based meditation program led to improved quality of life and psychological well-being in clinical trial of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Meditation and music may help reverse early memory loss in adults
In a recent study of adults with early memory loss, a West Virginia University research team lead by Dr.
New study finds Transcendental Meditation reduces trauma in female prisoners
The first study to specifically focus on reducing stress in female prisoners has found that Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces trauma symptoms.
Research validates the defining hallmark of Transcendental Meditation -- effortlessness
A study of 87 subjects found that Transcendental Meditation consistently activates the brain's default mode network, indicating that this approach to meditation doesn't entail concentration or focus.
Transcendental Meditation reduces stress and trauma in prisoners, fosters transformation
A randomized controlled study of 181 male inmates at two Oregon prisons found that after four months, prisoners practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique had significantly reduced trauma symptoms, including anxiety, depression, dissociation, sleep disturbance, and a significant decrease in perceived stress compared to non-meditating controls.
Meditation keeps emotional brain in check
Meditation can help tame your emotions even if you're not a mindful person, suggests a new study from Michigan State University.
Systems biology research study reveals benefits of vacation and meditation
Scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the University of California, San Francisco, and Harvard Medical School used a rigorous study design to assess the biological impact of meditation compared to vacation.

Related Meditation Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...