In researching about the benefits on one’s mental health from meditation, I found several studies that show numerous reasons as to why meditation benefits all kinds of people. In the first article I read, “Meditative Therapies for Reducing Anxiety…” the author talked about how significant numbers of people have shown signs of improvement in their anxiety or depression just by meditating. It was interesting how this article not only pointed out the obvious benefits one gets from meditating, but it was also pointed out how unlike antidepressants and anxiety medications, meditation has no adverse effects, leaving the patient with no unwanted side effects. There was a study done to test anxiety levels in volunteers before and after meditating for a certain amount of time. The results were that 25 out of 36 people found a significant reduction in anxiety.
It was also interesting to find that meditating was being introduced into school settings. There a some schools now that are trying out meditation in order to enhance academic strengths, coping abilities within the social and academic aspects, and the capacity to self regulate oneself. Surveys found out that students become more focused and became more mindful which led to more optimism in themselves, which also led to less stress and to better academic grades. Meditation helps students expand their capacity to think in class which allows them to retain more information.
What I found most interesting out of all these articles is a study done on musicians and their performance anxiety/depression/mood. This last article in “Yoga Ameliorates Performance Anxiety and Mood Disturbance in Young Professional Musicians” states that “Yoga and meditation can alleviate stress, anxiety, mood disturbance, and musculoskeletal problems, and can enhance cognitive and physical performance” which is very important to musicians and even in the everyday person. Three groups of musicians were put to the test when one group of 15 meditated consistently for two months, another 15 practiced yoga, and another group of 15 made no changes; they were the control group. At the end of the two months, both the yoga practicers and meditators were found to have a decrease in anger, performance anxiety, performance-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMD), perceived stress, and levels of depression, while there was no change in the control group. This was interesting because while this study tested musicians, all of the aspects that improved in their lives from meditating can be easily applied to a student like me.
Chen, Kevin W., et al. “Meditative Therapies for Reducing Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269), vol. 29, no. 7, July 2012, pp. 545-562. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1002/da.21964.
Wisner, Betsy L., et al. “School-Based Meditation Practices for Adolescents: A Resource for Strengthening Self-Regulation, Emotional Coping, and Self-Esteem.” Children & Schools, vol. 32, no. 3, July 2010, pp. 150-159. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pbh&AN=54281663&site=ehost-live.
Khalsa, Sat Bir S., et al. “Yoga Ameliorates Performance Anxiety and Mood Disturbance in Young Professional Musicians.” Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, vol. 34, no. 4, Dec. 2009, pp. 279-289. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10484-009-9103-4.