Meditation and its benefits

Magdalena Wójcik, Grzegorz Boreński, Julita Poleszak, Przemysław Szabat, Marta Szabat, Joanna Milanowska

Abstract


Introduction: Meditation can include any kind of practices during practitioners can calm their mind and expend their consciousness. Meditation practising have been known since a long time ago. However, in the West it is still gaining popularity since nowadays people are under more and more stress. Meditation is thought to be helpful in coping with chronic disorders or stress.

The aim of the study: The purpose of this systemic review was to collect and analyse available data about practising meditation and its effects on health.

Material and method: Standard criteria were used to review the literature data. The search of articles in the PubMed database was carried out using the following keywords: meditation, stress, health.

Description of the state of knowledge: Psychological stress contributes to the development of many disorders. Studies of the effects of meditation practises such as mindfulness meditation or yoga showed that they are beneficial for reducing stress, depression and anxiety. The study in which participated patients with active depression and anxiety showed a reduction of both depression and anxiety score after the course meditation comparing to control group. Yoga practising was also examined in many studies as a depression treatment and showed some promising results. Another study showed improvement in perceived stress after yoga practising on a group of distressed women.
Summary: Many studies of meditation practises showed their beneficial effects on depression, mood, anxiety and stress. People should be more aware of the effects of practises such as mindfulness meditation or yoga and consider their role in addressing psychological stress. Meditation may be a useful practise in maintaining health and well-being. However, further researches of meditation practises are still needed.

Keywords


meditation; stress; health

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References


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Chen KW, Berger CC, Manheimer E, Forde D, Magidson J, Dachman L, et al. Meditative therapies for reducing anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Depress Anxiety. 2012 29(7):545–562. doi:10.1002/da.21964

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Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, Gould NF, Rowland-Seymour A, Sharma R, et al. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 174(3):357–368. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018

Zeidan F, Vago DR. Mindfulness meditation-based pain relief: a mechanistic account. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 1373(1):114–127. doi:10.1111/nyas.13153

Wang CW, Chan CH, Ho RT, Chan JS, Ng SM, Chan CL. Managing stress and anxiety through qigong exercise in healthy adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 14:8. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-8

Gallegos AM, Crean HF, Pigeon WR, Heffner KL. Meditation and yoga for posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials. Clin Psychol Rev. 2017 58:115–124. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2017.10.004

Hofmann SG, Gómez AF. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety and Depression. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2017 40(4):739–749. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2017.08.008

Joëls M, Karst H, Sarabdjitsingh RA. The stressed brain of humans and rodents. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2018 223(2):e13066. doi:10.1111/apha.13066

Yaribeygi H, Panahi Y, Sahraei H, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI J. 2017 16:1057–1072. doi:10.17179/excli2017-480

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Kenny MA, Williams JM. Treatment-resistant depressed patients show a good response to Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy. Behav Res Ther. 2007 45(3):617–625. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2006.04.008

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1. Acevedo BP, Pospos S, Lavretsky H. The Neural Mechanisms of Meditative Practices: Novel Approaches for Healthy Aging. Curr Behav Neurosci Rep. 2016 3(4):328–339. doi:10.1007/s40473-016-0098-x 2. Chen KW, Berger CC, Manheimer E, Forde D, Magidson J, Dachman L, et al. Meditative therapies for reducing anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Depress Anxiety. 2012 29(7):545–562. doi:10.1002/da.21964 3. Tononi G, Koch C. Consciousness: here, there and everywhere?. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015 370(1668):20140167. doi:10.1098/rstb.2014.0167 4. Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, Gould NF, Rowland-Seymour A, Sharma R, et al. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 174(3):357–368. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018 5. Zeidan F, Vago DR. Mindfulness meditation-based pain relief: a mechanistic account. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 1373(1):114–127. doi:10.1111/nyas.13153 6. Wang CW, Chan CH, Ho RT, Chan JS, Ng SM, Chan CL. Managing stress and anxiety through qigong exercise in healthy adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 14:8. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-8 7. Gallegos AM, Crean HF, Pigeon WR, Heffner KL. Meditation and yoga for posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials. Clin Psychol Rev. 2017 58:115–124. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2017.10.004 8. Hofmann SG, Gómez AF. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety and Depression. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2017 40(4):739–749. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2017.08.008 9. Joëls M, Karst H, Sarabdjitsingh RA. The stressed brain of humans and rodents. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2018 223(2):e13066. doi:10.1111/apha.13066 10. Yaribeygi H, Panahi Y, Sahraei H, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI J. 2017 16:1057–1072. doi:10.17179/excli2017-480 11. Yang L, Zhao Y, Wang Y, Liu L, Zhang X, Li B, et al. The Effects of Psychological Stress on Depression. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2015 13(4):494–504. doi:10.2174/1570159X1304150831150507 12. Cohen BE, Edmondson D, Kronish IM. State of the Art Review: Depression, Stress, Anxiety, and Cardiovascular Disease. Am J Hypertens. 2015 28(11):1295–1302. doi:10.1093/ajh/hpv047 13. Hall JM, Cruser D, Podawiltz A, Mummert DI, Jones H, Mummert ME. Psychological Stress and the Cutaneous Immune Response: Roles of the HPA Axis and the Sympathetic Nervous System in Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis. Dermatol Res Pract. 2012 2012:403908. doi:10.1155/2012/403908 14. Segerstrom SC, Miller GE. Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry. Psychol Bull. 2004 130(4):601–630. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.130.4.601 15. Marsland AL, Walsh C, Lockwood K, John-Henderson NA. The effects of acute psychological stress on circulating and stimulated inflammatory markers: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Brain Behav Immun. 2017 64:208–219. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2017.01.011 16. Bairey Merz CN, Dwyer J, Nordstrom CK, Walton KG, Salerno JW, Schneider RH. Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular disease: pathophysiological links. Behav Med. 2002 27(4):141–147. doi:10.1080/08964280209596039 17. Burns MN, Nawacki E, Kwasny MJ, Pelletier D, Mohr DC. Do positive or negative stressful events predict the development of new brain lesions in people with multiple sclerosis?. Psychol Med. 2014 44(2):349–359. doi:10.1017/S0033291713000755 18. Hemmerle AM, Herman JP, Seroogy KB. Stress, depression and Parkinson's disease. Exp Neurol. 2012 233(1):79–86. doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2011.09.035 19. Cleck JN, Blendy JA. Making a bad thing worse: adverse effects of stress on drug addiction. J Clin Invest. 2008 118(2):454–461. doi:10.1172/JCI33946 20. Monroe SM, Slavich GM, Torres LD, Gotlib IH. Major life events and major chronic difficulties are differentially associated with history of major depressive episodes. J Abnorm Psychol. 2007 116(1):116–124. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.116.1.116 21. Pizzagalli DA. Depression, stress, and anhedonia: toward a synthesis and integrated model. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2014 10:393–423. doi:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-050212-185606 22. Barnhofer T, Crane C, Hargus E, Amarasinghe M, Winder R, Williams JM. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy as a treatment for chronic depression: A preliminary study. Behav Res Ther. 2009 47(5):366–373. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2009.01.019 23. Finucane A, Mercer SW. An exploratory mixed methods study of the acceptability and effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for patients with active depression and anxiety in primary care. BMC Psychiatry. 2006 6:14. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-6-14 24. Kenny MA, Williams JM. 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Effects of mindfulness training on emotional and physiologic recovery from induced negative affect. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2017 86:78–86. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.08.003 29. van der Zwan JE, de Vente W, Huizink AC, Bögels SM, de Bruin EI. Physical activity, mindfulness meditation, or heart rate variability biofeedback for stress reduction: a randomized controlled trial. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2015 40(4):257–268. doi:10.1007/s10484-015-9293-x 30. Innes KE, Selfe TK, Khalsa DS, Kandati S. Effects of Meditation versus Music Listening on Perceived Stress, Mood, Sleep, and Quality of Life in Adults with Early Memory Loss: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 52(4):1277–1298. doi:10.3233/JAD-151106 31. Strauss C, Cavanagh K, Oliver A, Pettman D. Mindfulness-based interventions for people diagnosed with a current episode of an anxiety or depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. 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Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Anderson ML, Hawkes RJ, et al. Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Usual Care on Back Pain and Functional Limitations in Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2016 315(12):1240–1249. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.2323 37. Zgierska A, Rabago D, Zuelsdorff M, Coe C, Miller M, Fleming M. Mindfulness meditation for alcohol relapse prevention: a feasibility pilot study. J Addict Med. 2008 2(3):165–173. doi:10.1097/ADM.0b013e31816f8546 38. Davis JM, Fleming MF, Bonus KA, Baker TB. A pilot study on mindfulness based stress reduction for smokers. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 7:2. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-7-2 39. Wachholtz AB, Malone CD, Pargament KI. Effect of Different Meditation Types on Migraine Headache Medication Use. Behav Med. 2017 43(1):1–8. doi:10.1080/08964289.2015.1024601 40. Schutte-Rodin S, Broch L, Buysse D, Dorsey C, Sateia M. 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Journal of Education, Health and Sport formerly Journal of Health Sciences

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