Reduces psychological stress responses and improves cognitive functions

Singh, Y., et al. (2012). Immediate and long-term effects of meditation on acute stress reactivity, cognitive functions, and intelligence. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 18(6), 46-53. Full abstract.

Objective: To study the effects of meditation on stress-induced changes in physiological parameters, cognitive functions, intelligence, and emotional quotients.

Participants: The participants were 34 healthy, male volunteers who were students.

Results: Induced stress from the computer game resulted in a significant increase in physiological markers of stress such as GSR and HR. In the short term, meditation was associated with a physiological relaxation response (significant decrease in GSR) and an improvement in scores on test of reaction times. In the long-term, meditation brought significant improvements in IQ and scores for cognitive functions, whereas participants’ stress levels (GSR and AS) decreased. EQ, salivary cortisol, and HR showed no significant changes.

Conclusions: The practice of meditation reduced psychological stress responses and improved cognitive functions, and the effects were pronounced with practice of meditation for a longer duration (1 month).

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