Indianapolis Edition

Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

Multiple Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

ifong/Shutterstock.com

Even a single mindfulness meditation session can significantly reduce anxiety and lower heart rates, Michigan Technological University research shows. Fourteen people with mild to moderate anxiety participated in a 20-minute introductory meditation, a 30-minute mindful scan of each body part seeking areas of stress and a 10-minute self-guided meditation. An hour later, the meditators showed both lower resting heart rates and anxiety levels. A week later, they continued to report less anxiety.

Another study at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland, uncovered an anatomical reason why breath-based meditation practices can enhance mental clarity and focus, as yogis have long claimed. The research focused on a small area in the brain called the locus coeruleus, which is responsible for producing an action hormone and neurotransmitter called noradrenaline. They found that this part of the brain is affected by our inhaling and exhaling patterns.

“Put simply, this means that our attention is influenced by our breath, and that it rises and falls with the cycle of respiration,” says lead author Michael Melnychuk. “It is possible that by focusing on and regulating your breathing, you can optimize your attention level.”


This article appears in the December 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Indy’s Greenscape Geeks

Indianapolis’ Greenscape Geeks, LLC, is helping area residents and businesses establish the groundwork for food independence by offering urban agriculture consultations and installation in addition to their existing services.

Zero Waste Initiatives

Zero waste initiatives are taking root across Indianapolis area as schools, businesses, events and organizations are taking steps to limit the negative impact food waste has on the community and environment.

Annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace Returns

The ninth annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace, with more than 100 participating art and food artisans, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 6 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 7 at the Exposition Hall at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, in Indianapolis.

Strut Your Mutt to Benefit Indy Humane Society

Join the Humane Society of Indianapolis for Mutt Strut 2019 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on April 27.

National Walking Day 2019 to Promote Benefits of Walking

On April 3, participants are encouraged to get up and move, and document their walking activities through social media using the hashtag #NationalWalkingDay.

Add your comment: