Developing a meditation practice can feel daunting (and sometimes stressful in itself!), but research has shown that carving out even just a small pocket of time in your day to focus on your breathing can make a real difference.
A new study from Carnegie Mellon University found that brief mindfulness meditation practice can reduce stress levels and even help make you more resilient to daily tensions. The magic amount to get started feeling results? Just 25 minutes a day for three consecutive days, the research showed.
66 healthy individuals aged 18-30 took part in the three-day study, lead by Associate Professor J David Creswell. Some participants were taken through a brief mindfulness meditation training program for 25 minutes each day, including breathing exercises to help them to bring awareness to the present moment. A second group undertook a three-day cognitive training program, where they practiced problem solving skills.
At the end of the three days, all participants were asked to complete a stressful speech and maths task in front of a stern-faced audience.Those who had received the meditation training reported lower levels of stress, suggesting that their new mindfulness skills provided some greater resilience.
Learn about the art of meditation, try Smiling Mind or check out our list of mindfulness resources for help getting started on your path to balance and calm.