Could a Single Meditation Session Have Instant Results?

May 8, 2018
Amanda Carrozza

Amanda Carrozza is a freelance writer and editor in New Jersey.

Meditation is proven to have positive effects, but can you expect results after your very first session? New research says yes.

Meditation is a centuries-old approach to training the mind to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. It has been shown to have numerous health benefits when used over the course of days or weeks. What’s hasn’t been analyzed as thoroughly, however, is how the body is affected by a single session.

Could meditation offer instant gratification? That’s exactly what a team of researchers from Michigan Technological University set out to learn.

In a small study that was recently presented at the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, California, a group of researchers sought to determine whether a single one-hour session of mindfulness meditation could effectively reduce anxiety.

Study participants included 14 adults whose anxiety levels were measured using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) approximately one week before and one hour after their meditation session.

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Both scientific measurements and participant feedback confirmed that the single meditation session had significant effects on both physical and mental symptoms of anxiety. In the postmeditation anxiety assessment, BAI scores were notably reduced compared with baseline figures. Additionally, both immediately before and 60 minutes after the session, the researchers recorded a significant change in blood vessel wall stiffness, indicating possible beneficial cardiovascular effects.

While more research is needed, the authors concluded that just a single meditation session can benefit both the body and mind of adults with mild to moderate anxiety.

How Do You Get Started?

Considering the high pressure, emotional burnout and high suicide rates among veterinary professionals, meditation may be hugely helpful for relieving the everyday stressors and pressures of the job. If you’ve been toying with the idea of exploring meditation, there are a variety of avenues to get started. Many yoga studios offer in-person guided meditation, and dedicated meditation centers are popping up across the country. A quick Google search can pinpoint some of the options nearest to you.

If you think you’d prefer meditating on your own, there is a vast menu of apps in the iTunes or Google Play stores that provide the instruction, timers, intentions and background music you’ll need to get started.