We’re well aware that meditation can help you relax, get centered, and feel less stressed out over time when done regularly. Now a new study published in the Psychoneuroendocrinology shows exactly why: People who meditate regularly actually have a faster physiological recovery from stress, primarily thanks to one specific psychological strategy that meditation makes them very good at.
Researchers examined 29 long-term meditation practitioners (specifically, people who’ve been meditating regularly for at least three hours a week for at least the last three years) and 26 people who don’t meditate. The researchers gave both groups a test that induces stress and examined the way they responded psychologically and physiologically. The findings showed the meditators actually had a faster cortisol recovery after a stressful incident, meaning that their levels of cortisol (the hormone that floods your body when you’re stressed out or feeling threatened in any way) returned back down to normal more quickly than the cortisol levels of non-meditators.
“Even though it is early to talk about conclusive evidence of robust effects of meditation on the physiology of the stress response, this study, among others, demonstrates that contemplative practice might indeed be related to the way our body deals with threats,” Liudmila Gamaiunova, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Lausanne and one of the study’s authors, told PsyPost.
by Kelly Gonsalves, www.mindbodygreen.com
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